How to detect and remove spyware from your Android and iOS devices

Spyware is malicious software that is secretly installed on your mobile device to monitor your actions and gather data without your knowledge.

Also, there are two methods to install spyware on your mobile devices:

  • Remotely using email links and rogue websites.
  • Physically on your device by a third party that is physically closer to you. For example, your spouse, friends, boss, or coworkers.

Spyware may be used for any of the following purposes:

  • To gather and sell your information to digital marketers and marketing firms.
  • By your boss will observe your behavior at work.
  • To monitor and record your internet actions for marketing reasons.
  • To steal bank data or other financial information from your device through hacking.
  • By your spouse to monitor internet use.
  • By parents to watch the activities of their children.

Permission is granted to spyware upon installation to:

  • Record your phone calls.
  • Monitor your call logs.
  • Access your phone’s contact list.
  • Collect your SMS messages.
  • Peruse your sent and received emails.
  • You may access and read your chats using social media applications such as WhatsApp and Facebook.
  • Access your media assets, including images and videos.
  • Gaining access to your internet history and visited websites.
  • Use the camera on your smartphone to check your surroundings.

Popular forms of spyware

Nuisanceware

These are potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) that are installed concurrently with legal free applications. Nuisanceware generates frequent and obnoxious pop-up advertisements, collects your surfing information, and occasionally modifies your homepage settings.

Stalkerware

Stalkerware is a sort of spyware designed to steal data such as pictures, videos, SMS, and MMS, as well as monitor and record phone conversations.

How to recognize malware on mobile devices

Spyware is more likely to be present on your mobile device if you notice sudden changes in its behavior.

Here are three crucial indicators to keep an eye out for on your mobile device:

  • Unexpected shutdown or restart: if your phone automatically shuts down and restarts, this is a solid sign of spyware on your device.
  • The battery depletes quicker without an increase in use. If your mobile device’s battery drains faster without an increase in use, it is likely due to spyware activity.
  • When your phone feels warm in your palm without extensive use, it may be due to malware activity in the background.
  • Spyware requires access to your data to transmit information gathered from your device and for other purposes. Increasing data consumption may be a key sign of spyware activity on a mobile device. In certain instances, you may not immediately notice an increase in data usage, but if you are vigilant enough, you will be able to discover data consumption fluctuations.

Additional indicators to look for

  • Frequent adware pop-ups: Frequent adware pop-ups may indicate a spyware infestation. You may simply address this issue by using an ad-blocking browser extension.
  • This is a frequent symptom of Android-powered mobile devices: strange applications. If there are applications on your mobile device that you do not recall downloading and installing, they may be spyware. These applications should be removed from your mobile device.
  • Spyware on your mobile device might cause your applications to fail on a frequent basis.
  • Ambient noise during phone conversations. Noise in the background may be caused by network interference. In other instances, though, this may be the result of malware listening to and recording your phone conversations. If you are experiencing background noise during phone conversations, you should take the further step of determining if the noise is caused by network interference or malware, that is, monitoring and recording your phone conversation.
  • When you get strange messages: in certain cases, spyware uses text message command functions to customize your mobile device. Typically, these text messages include a greater number of odd symbols and numeric characters than standard text messages. Although it is recommended to delete such messages, doing so may not definitely eliminate malware from your mobile device.

How to remove spyware from Android

Method 1: Install antivirus software on your device

  • Download and install antivirus software by visiting the Google Play Store. Heimdal Mobile Security, AVG, McAfee Security, Norton Security and Antivirus, Avira Antivirus, etc., are examples of popular antivirus software from which you may pick.
  • Launch the installed antivirus application and ‘Scan’ your device.
  • The antivirus is now scanning your Android smartphone for spyware and other threats.
  • In some antivirus programs, spyware is automatically deleted; however, in others, you must remove it manually by pressing ‘Resolve’ or ‘Fix’.
  • On detecting malware on your Android smartphone, the antivirus prompts you to delete it.

Method 2: Manually remove spyware

To manually remove malware, follow these steps:

  • Holding down the power button while rebooting your Android smartphone into “Safe mode”.
  • To boot your device into safe mode, choose “Safe mode” or follow the offered steps.
  • Go to the device’s settings >> Applications.
  • Check the list of programs for any suspicious ones that you don’t recall installing.
  • To remove the spyware software, pick “Uninstall” from the program’s information page.
  • If you do not see the “Uninstall” option, go to your phone’s security settings, still under settings.
  • Search for device admin in the security area (device admin apps in later versions of Android).
  • “Disable” or withdraw administrative access provided to spyware.

Method 3: Restore your device’s settings to factory defaults

Restoring your smartphone to its factory settings should be your last resort, unless you’re willing to lose all of its data. Nevertheless, this is the most efficient method for removing malware from your device.

How to uninstall malware from an iPhone

You may remove malware from your iPhone by using any of the following methods:

Method 1: Install an antispyware or antivirus application on your iPhone.

Install and activate the anti-spyware application to detect and remove all spyware from your iPhone.

Method 2: Update your iPhone to the most recent iOS version.

If you have a Cydia app on your unjailbroken iPhone, you should upgrade its iOS version to the most recent version.

With recent bug updates, the most current version of iOS may eradicate spyware applications from your iPhone.

  • Tap “General” in the upper left corner of your iPhone’s settings.
  • Select “Software Update.”
  • After reading the text, click “Download and Install” at the bottom of the page.

Method 3: Restore the iPhone to its original settings

When you restore your iPhone to factory settings, all malware applications are removed. Ensure you have a backup of your information and papers before restoring your iPhone to its factory settings.

  • Tap “General” in the upper left corner of your iPhone’s settings.
  • Navigate and look for the term “Reset.” To reset your iPhone, choose “Erase All Contents and Settings” from the menu.

How to protect your mobile devices from spyware

  • You should be cautious about the email links you open and the programs you provide administrative access to.
  • Use your device’s security features such as password lock, fingerprint lock, face recognition, and other available security measures to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Use a reputable VPN service provider like NordVPN to conceal your internet activities.
Found this useful? Share with