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Kids' Phone Safety Blog

How to Detect Spy App on Android

November 25, 2015
spy app on android icon

Monitoring apps are very popular these days. And though it is illegal to use them other than for parental control or supervising employees, who know and agree to it, some people still violate rights of others unfairly applying monitoring apps for spying.

To prevent users from illegal survaillance, developers follow some safety measures. Thus, a monitoring app must be detectable on the target device. It means that a person under supervision must have an opportunity to easily find such an application among other software on his or her smartphone or tablet, and thus, be aware that he or she is being monitored.

If a monitoring application is invisible, i.e. runs in a stealth mode, its usage is outside the law. Nevertheless, some people keep using such misgiving software to spy on their spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, third parties etc.

detecting hidden apps

Many wonder if it is possible to detect a spy app on Android devices. Yes, there are some signs, which mean that you’ve got spying software installed on your device. Due to a specific design, spying software causes some slight glitches. Sure, they are rather subtle and hard to notice by the naked eye. However, if you know exactly what to look for, you will detect them easily.

How to Find Spy App on Android

PumpicbrStrange Device Behavior. The first thing to pay attention to is a sudden odd behavior of your smartphone or tablet. If it lights up, when not in use, makes some random beeping noises, or shuts down on its own, it can be a sign that some malicious software provokes such behavior.

PumpicbrBattery Rundown. If you notice that your device suddenly needs to be charged more often than ever before, you should pay attention to it, as it may be that some spy software increases the use of your battery.

PumpicbrAndroid Device Manager. Check whether Android Device Manager is enabled on your smartphone or tablet. If it is, then anyone who has your email password can track you and your device. And do follow your battery use by checking the consumption list. If you see ADM there, someone is probably tracking you.

PumpicbrBattery Consumption List. Once again, if you suspect that someone is spying on you, check your battery use systematically. Pay attention to location, Wi-Fi, and 3G components. If they appear in the top 4 apps that consume the most of your battery life, they are being highly used. Avoid it if you personally use navigators or data intensively. However, if you don’t, it is another considerable sign of spying.

PumpicbrReceiving Strange Texts. Another sign you should consider is receiving unusual text messages containing random digits, symbols, or characters. Spy software operates by sending coded messages to your device and back. Sometimes the process goes incorrectly and you may notice weird SMS in your incoming messages. That means you probably have a spying app installed on your device.

PumpicbrData Use Increase. A good way to detect a spy app on your Android device is following your monthly data use. There are many data managing applications for that purpose and you can easily find a good one on Google Play. If you see that your data use increases once over a sudden, it may mean that you are being spied on.

Of course, all the aforementioned signs are rather hints to consider and check than unquestionable evidence. Nevertheless, note them carefully!

Luckily, there is one tip that is hard to argue.

PumpicbrLocation Services, Data, and Wi-Fi. To make sure about being spied on, disable location services, data transferring, and Wi-Fi. If they turn on automatically within 6 hours, it will mean for sure that someone is using a spy app against you. Spyware cannot operate without using these components, and thus, will try to enable them.

Once you detect spying software installed on your smartphone or tablet without you knowing, you will surely want to find out how to get rid of it. Thankfully, it is not that hard.

How to Uninstall Spy App on Android

PumpicbrSoftware Update. As we have already mentioned, spy apps are very specific due to design. That’s why they must be upgraded with each new software update of the target device. It means that to get rid of an undesired app on your smartphone or tablet, you can simply update your OS version or re-install it. This will kill malicious spyware without hurting the rest on your device.

PumpicbrFactory Reset. Another way to uninstall a spy app on Android is performing a factory reset. This process will get your device back to initial settings, which also means that all of your applications, as well as the data will be deleted. Thus, don’t forget to back up first to save the information you care (photos, apps, text files, messages etc.) Note that this procedure may seem tough for ordinary users. You can find a tutorial on how to perform factory reset on Android online. However, if you don’t want to puzzle it all out, simply take your device to a local supplier, who will do it quickly and more likely for free.

It is important to see and explain to your kids the difference between spying and monitoring apps, though. iOs, as well as different android parental controls, are always visible on devices and legal, as well.

Hopefully, this article will help if you start suspecting spying on your Android smartphone or tablet.

P.S.: Feel free to contact us, in case of any questions. We will be happy to help you protect your loved ones as well as your personal device against intruders. We also will be thankful for sharing this useful article on your social media, but you are free to pass on this idea.

Make your kids’ phone and online usage safe with us!

Rachel Fowlers
Rachel Flowers is a journalist with a big passion for technologies. She has recently graduated from San Francisco State University and sees herself as a freelance writer. She enjoys blogging about computer and mobile technologies as well as different software. In her free time, she learns coding and foreign languages. Contact .

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