Android Spyware detection is a process to find or detect the spyware on android phones and devices. There are several Spyware detection apps you can use to detect and remove it from android. Surprisingly it is hard to detect or know if your android is infected with Spyware. So, What is Android Spyware and how to detect Spyware on Android and what are the spyware detection apps for android that can actually help you to remove spyware from your android device. Let’s find the answers.
Android phones are great on feature the versatility, liberty of configurations and Google eco system makes it one of the best Operating system till date. As per the data, 71.43% of phones on the planet are running on Android OS.
But, with all these advantages, android devices come with a big disadvantage which is data privacy. We often read articles regarding data breaches and data leakages of the user.
As compared to other OS, Android devices are more vulnerable to data breaches or spyware. So, let’s explore the dirty truth of android spyware and know how to detect if a spyware is secretly spying on your android and sending data to the remote server.
Well, to understand the spyware on android. Let’s start with a short introduction to spyware.
Read Also: How To Remove Hidden Keylogger From Android
What is Spyware?
Spyware is nothing but a piece of software or codes installed on your device secretly that can access all the activities performed by the user on the device including login details like passwords and all.
Most of the Spywares are designed to copy your data from the device and send them to a distant server or data center.
These spyware apps are not limited to Android devices but any device including Windows can get infected with spyware as well.
In a similar manner a suspicious app installed on your android with an intention to record your activity on phone including internet usage, know your location, and others or without your consent is classified as Android spyware.
As we are concerned about android spyware, let’s keep this precise to android spyware apps, type of android spyware and other details.
Type of Andriod Spyware
As per android spying, the basic function of android spyware is to spy on the device activity and send the collected data to a pre-assigned server or email address.
The severity of spyware depends on the usage, permission and amount of data collected by these apps.
Still, Android spyware can be classified into the following categories;
1. Family Monitoring Spyware Apps
These Spywares app on android are usually ethical spyware apps you can find on the play store itself. These apps are designed to assist parents to monitor their family members and see their live location, internet history, reading messages,s and others.
These spywares are usually visible to the users and are installed by the parent with the consent of their children.
Sometimes these apps can actually come in handy in case of emergency as well.
2. Consumer spyware
You might have encountered pop-up ads on Android when you visit these illegal websites. These pop-ads contain malicious links that may lead to the installation of spyware on the device.
This spyware is installed for the purpose of monitoring browsing activities on Android phones.
Consumer Spywares are very dangerous. It can easily give access to your phone’s data to some unwanted party.
The hacker can even get his hands on your photos, texts, app information, current location, contacts, and so on. They can even extract your sensitive information and do a lot of damage.
3. Android Trojan Spyware
Trojan spyware is usually spread by an app on your Android. The spyware are usually hidden in the code underneath the genuine-looking apps. These apps are usually found on the Google play store as well.
Surprisingly, even with strong Google policies these apps somehow make it to appear in Google Play store.
But, once you install these apps on Android, the real threat comes into action. Recently a Joker Trojan was detected on the most popular apps having millions of downloads.
These Android App Trojan spyware are classified as the most dangerous spyware on the Android as it is hard to detect if the Android is infested with spyware.
Also, it completely depends on the developer, the amount of data they are stealing on your Android.
What Does Spyware Do on Your Phone?
In the modern era of technology where we use our Android phones not only to store private moments but the confidential data like login credentials, bank details and others.
In such a spyware can come to be a great threat to your privacy if installed on your Android. This will not only give your Android’s access to hackers but they can also be used against you as well.
This is not just breaking your privacy but also leading to the hacking of your online accounts as well as monetary losses in some cases.
Let’s see how spyware can harm your Android phone.
Spyware can record all the keystrokes typed by the user on android. This includes chat, messages, user name and password everything.
By analyzing them, the hacker can find out the username and password you typed for any online account, bank details, and credential card details you shared, and even the personal messages you sent.
The spyware is not limited to recording keystrokes but it can also extract the saved login ID and password from the browser.
We often end up saving our IDs and passwords to the browser so that we don’t need to enter them again while browsing the same website. Spyware can easily extract these saved login credentials and use them without your knowledge.
Websites identify a user by the cookies they save on the device. Spyware can steal those cookies, and this enables the hacker to use the websites with your identity and get all the information it requires as well as perform any illegal activity.
A hacker can control or access your phone’s camera using spyware. This allows them to monitor you through the Android camera which can be a big threat to your privacy.
This is a scary scenario as your inappropriate videos could be online anytime. Also, these videos or photos taken secretly from your phone’s camera can be used for blackmailing and extortion of money.
Access Photos & Videos
Spyware lets the hackers get complete access to your phone’s gallery. Therefore, all your intimate photos and videos can get stolen, and you know the damage it can bring to your personal life and social status if they get exposed.
The list of harm that spyware can bring to your life is unimaginable. Therefore, you should take the issue seriously because spyware is ruining people’s happy lives and turning them into never-ending nightmares
Like camera access, spyware can also be used to spy on your conversation. This can not only record all the incoming and outgoing calls on your Android but, it can also record the conversation you are having around your Android.
Spyware takes over your Android microphone and records every conversation you are having around your Android even if the phone is idle.
With spyware installed on your Android, hackers or the culprit and track your live location using the GPS on your Android.
Besides, this also allows them to see the location history of your device to track your geographical activity.
How Dangerous is Android Spyware?
The severity of Android spyware depends on the data it’s collecting. Some spyware are limited to spying on your browsing activity with the help of cookies that contain all the browsing data like websites you visit and products you purchase on any e-commerce platform.
This browser spyware usually keeps monitoring the internet activity on the device without even letting the user know.
Typical spyware can be quite dangerous for Android as it may collect all the data including, live location, read text messages, make calls, record calls, takeover cameras, steal photos and video from galleries or even control your entire Android as well.
You might have come across the name Pegasus spyware which is strong enough to record the calls and see the Whatsapp encrypted chats as well.
Read Also: How to Find Hidden Apps on Android Phones
Android Spyware Detection: How to Know if Android has Spyware Installed
There are several Android spyware detection apps you can find on play store we shall discuss later in the article. These apps usually scan your Android for potential threats like Spyware, Malware or Keyloggers.
But, You can also look for some significant signals to know if there is spyware on your Android.
Here are some signs that can help you piece together the presence of spyware on your Android smartphone.
Battery Draining Fast
Unusual battery consumption can be a big signal of Spyware apps on Android. As these spyware tends to keep running in the background even if the device is in idle mode.
If you find that your Android is drawing the battery than normal then it might be a sign of spyware on the device.
However, there are several other reasons that may cause a fast battery draining on your android including system apps, Bloatwares, malware and others.
Spy apps can consume significant battery power as they run in the background and transmit data. If you notice unusually high battery drainage, it could indicate the presence of a spy app.
Unusual Mobile data Usages
High mobile data consumption is another great signal of Spyware infection on Android. Android spyware is installed on Android with the purpose to steal user data and sending the data to distant servers, these spyware needs the internet.
If you notice a significant rise in the use of internet or mobile data on your Android, chances are your Android is a victim of spyware infection.
Another big signal of spyware infection on Android is the rise in temperature even if the phone is in an idle position. As we learned earlier, spyware tends to keep running in the background and using mobile data and other resources on an Android phone or tablet.
This continuous use of resources on Android by spyware may significantly raise the temperature of the device.
So, if you notice a rise in the temperature of your Android, make sure no downloading process is running in the background. If the temperature is still noticeable, then it is a clear sign of some phishing spyware on your device.
Apps Keep Crashing
Spyware may keep interfering with the normal operation of the device and this may also make your apps crash frequently.
You may see frequent crashing apps on the device that can affect any app including system apps or popular apps like Facebook and Gmail as well.
Android Stuck on Optimising App Loop
You might have seen an “android is starting optimizing app x of x” while restarting the device after updates.
Usually, this is the intimidation that the android system is optimizing apps and cache after updating the Android OS on the device. But, if you find this loop going forever then it might be a signal of a malicious app or spyware on Android.
Actually, the Android system finds it difficult to identify the codes embedded in spyware that keep the process going forever.
Phone Keeps turning off Randomly
A spyware-infected android tends to keep turning off randomly. This might be caused by several other reasons but one can’t deny the presence of spyware on your Android.
These spyware needs to keep resetting the permission in order to spy on the device properly. Any anomaly with the configuration triggers a random switching off and on of Android smartphones.
Permissions and Privacy Settings
Android phones running on Android 12 and later have a security feature that keeps you notified when an app is using any source like microphones, cameras, phones, storage etc on the device.
If you see any access notification on your Android even when the device is on an idle screen then it might be a sign of spyware infection on your Android. Examine the permissions requested by installed apps. If an app requires unnecessary or excessive permissions, it could be a red flag.
Also, check the privacy settings of apps to ensure they are not accessing more data than necessary.
Check for Unfamiliar Apps
Review the list of installed apps on your device. Look for any unfamiliar or suspicious apps that you don’t remember installing. Pay attention to apps with generic or unusual names.
Data Usage: Keep an eye on your data usage. Spy apps often send data to remote servers, resulting in increased data consumption. If you notice a sudden spike in data usage without any apparent reason, it could be a sign of a spy app.
Run Anti-spyware Software
Use reputable anti-spyware or anti-malware apps to scan your device for any potential threats. These apps can detect and remove spyware, malware, and other malicious software.
If you suspect that your device is compromised and unable to detect the spy app through other methods, performing a factory reset can remove all installed apps and data from your device. However, remember to back up your important data before proceeding with a factory reset, as it will erase everything on your device.
What are some Known Spyware apps on Android?
There is literally an endless list of spyware names because hackers are coming up with new spyware regularly to sneak into devices and spy on people’s activities.
Here is the list of some common spyware file names you should be aware of.
XNSPY, Cocospy, FlexiSpy, PhoneSpector, Auto Forward, Highster Mobile, Daddy’s Eye, iSpyoo, Spyzie, SpyEra, Spyier, Spyine, Hoverwatch, Qustodio, mSpy, Spy Video Recorder, Ino spy, and HelloSpy.
Besides this, the list can go on and on, but these are the most common spyware files and apps that wicked people often use to spy on target persons.
Android Spyware Detection Apps: Remove Spyware From Android
Besides the above-mentioned actions, you can find several Android spyware detection apps to detect potential spyware on Android.
Here is the list of some popular Android spyware detection apps you can find on Google play store.
1. Privacy Scanner (Antispy) Free
Privacy scanner is a free Android Spyware Detection App for Android that can detect 3,000 different types of spyware installed on your Android. It can detect and remove several potential surveillance apps on Android.
The app not only removes and the spyware but it can also keep you notified when there is any spyware attack on your android.
You can download Privacy Scanner from the official play store and scan your android for any spyware.
2. Anti Spy (SpyWare Removal)
Another free Android spyware detection app for Android to find any spyware on Android. This free spyware removal app can detect almost all potential spyware like message tracker, call tracker, etc.
Anti Spy App can Find all Spy Apps on your device, not only the Well Known Spy Apps like mSpy, etc.
The app is free to download from google play store.
3. Spyware Detector – Anti Spy Privacy Scanner
Spyware Detector is a great resource, not just for its scanner functionality, but also for the helpful privacy and security alerts/news/tips that the team regularly makes available.
The free Android spyware detection app itself seems quick and comprehensive, without having a noticeable impact on system resources or on phone’s usability.
It will also keep your phone safe from viruses and malware. The other features of the app include safe web browsing, which will protect you from further threats.
The app is free to download from Play store as well.
4. Malwarebytes Security: Virus Cleaner, Anti-Malware
Malwarebytes Security is another Android spyware detection app that not only detects the spyware secretly installed on your Android but its real-time protection feature keeps an eye on any further spyware attacks on your android.
The app claims to detect almost all minor to major spyware on android. It has also a built-in Malware and virus protection feature that makes it a must-have app for your android.
This app is also available to download from Google Play store for free.
5. Anti Spy & Spyware Scanner
With a scheduled scanner this android spyware detection app can help you to nail down all the spyware attack attempts on the device. Anti Spy & Spyware Scanner is a powerful spyware scanner app for android that can detect almost all spyware apps present on the android.
In addition, the apps can also help you in the detection of known spy apps, Backdoors, Billing fraud, SMS fraud, Call fraud, commercial spyware, malware, viruses, trojans, ransomware, RAT, rooting, and more that are often used by governments or law enforcement agencies.
The app is available to download from Google Playstore for free.
6. Comodo Mobile Security
Comodo Mobile Security is more than a spyware detection app for android. It’s a complete mobile security solution that can not only detect any potential spyware but save your android from any further security attacks like Malware, Keylogger and sypware.
Comodo’s mobile antivirus app provides complete protection against different types of malware, including trojans, worms, ransomware, cryptoware, spyware and adware.
This advanced Android security app, integrated with real-time virus signature, identifies new threats on the fly and immediately blocks them to protect your Android device.
The app is available to download from Google Play store with a free and paid
7. Lookout Mobile Security
If you are searching for a mobile security app that offers all premium security features for free, you need to give Lookout Mobile Security a try.
It actively monitors your device and notifies you whenever a virus or malware tries to enter your system. It also got the ability to detect apps that looks suspicious and pose to be spyware.
Lookout is now the only all-in-one security & antivirus app that protects your mobile device, your data and your identity.
Stay ahead of any virus with our antivirus features, phishing attacks or other mobile theft breach with the Lookout Mobile Security & Antivirus app.
8. AVG AntiVirus
AVG Antivirus apps for android is mote than a spyware detection app that provides a complete mobile Security for Android to help protect you from harmful viruses and malware.
Keep your personal data safe with App Lock, Photo Vault, Wi-Fi Security Scan, Hack Alerts, Malware security, and App Permissions advisor.
9. Kaspersky Mobile Antivirus
Kaspersky Mobile antivirus for android is not only able to detect and delete virus, malware and keyloggers but it also helps you to detect spyware on android.
A realtime protection module keeps an sharp eye on all the application activity to protect the android from any spyware attack as well.
It has many other advanced features like Find my phone, Anti-theft, App lock, Anti-Phishing, Web filter, etc. If we talk about spyware, the app’s free version works well in detecting and removing spyware.
10. Avast Antivirus
Avast Antivirus is one of the top-rated free Antivirus apps available for Android. The antivirus app for Android scans for viruses and other kinds of malware, including Trojans and Spyware.
11. BullGuard Mobile Security
BullGuard Mobile Security might be last in the list but you cannot deny the potential of this spyware detection app. One of the best mobile security app that provides a complete protection from any potential threat.
BullGuard Mobile Security is capable of detecting and removing malware, viruses, spyware, adware, and trackware. It also brings other useful features such as Antitheft, SIM protection, etc.
How to Remove Spyware From Android
You can remove spyware from android using on of the anti-spyware or spyware detection apps listed above. All you need is to install any of these apps and scan the device thoroughly.
The advanced AI algorithm of spyware detection app will scan the entire device and show you a notification if there is any spyware present on your android.
Later you can choose to remove the spyware within a few clicks.
How To prevent Android phone from getting spyware?
As the legend say prevention is better than cure and so goes with the spyware infection on android. So, instead of getting infected with spyware, you can actually take some measures to prevent a potential spyware attack on your android.
Here are some precautions you can take to prevent a spyware attack on android.
Never visit a Phishy Website
A suspected website is a big source of spyware. You might be fond of cracked full-version apps, software or pirated movies. But, these websites are a big source of malware, spyware and keyloggers.
In order to save your android from potential security threats, it’s better to say a big no to these illegal websites.
Also, don’t click or open any random links you receive on social media like Messenger or Whatsapp.
Always Install App from Trusted Sources
It is suggested to download an app from the official play store only to save your device from a spyware attack
There are several app stores available on internet that you can find and download on your Android. But, these unauthorized sources of apps can lead to a spyware attack on your Android.
Android apps are another huge source of spyware bugs on your Android. Apps downloaded from these sources are not scanned for potential code injections within the app.
So, once you download and install APK files from unauthorized sources, you are actually inviting a hacker to steal your password, images, account details, and other confidential data from your android.
Enable KNOX security(Samsung Android)
Make sure to enable the security feature to KNOX and KLMS to prevent hackers from installing spyware on your Android. These security features are free and quite effective to prevent any spyware attack on your Android.
Keep Your Android Secure with PIN or Pattern
Besides the internet, spyware can be installed on android using APK files as well.
So, make sure to never let others handle your phones. Also, make sure to enable lock features like Facelock, Pattern or PIN to ensure the safety of your device.
WHAT TO READ NEXT?
- How to Find Hidden Apps on Android Phones
- 3 Methods to Send Text to Multiple Contacts on Android
- How To Use Siri On Android? Siri Alternatives for Android
- 10 Best Android Apps for Free VoIP Calls
- list of Best Screen Recording Apps for Android
- Why do I Receive Duplicate Text Messages On Android?
This was a complete guide to Android spyware and Android spyware detection. A spyware attack on your Android is not only dangerous for your data but it could also be a big threat to your personal life and privacy. It is always a good practice to check your Android for any potential threat including malware, ransomware and spyware.
You can either look for random changes on your Android as mentioned above or install a free spyware detection app from the google play store.
Don’t forget to check our HOW TO section for other useful guides for Android.