Do you suspect someone of installing spy apps on your Android phone? Has your device been behaving strangely recently? Do you have a very jealous spouse who would do anything to spy on you? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, this tutorial is a must-read for you.
It’s very easy in the world of Android devices to spy on those a bit less tech-savvy. Thanks to one or two spy apps, we can practically take full control of the device of the victim (without their knowledge) and be able to remotely read all of its contents. That’s a bit scary, isn’t it?
In the first part of today’s tutorial I will show you how to detect if you have spy software on your Android phone. In the second part I will show you how to remove any spy apps from your Android device so that you don’t fall victim to spying. Let’s begin!
Part One: How to Detect If You Have Spy Software on Your Android Phone
It’s quite difficult to detect spy software on your Android phone unless you know what specific spy app has been installed. The bad news is that telling what specific spy apps have been installed is extremely hard or sometimes even impossible to do. These apps are usually hidden very well and leave almost no trace of their existence.
However, Android devices which are spied on usually behave a bit different that normal and “clean” devices. If you notice one of the below symptoms it’s possible that you are spied on. If such is the case, implement one or all of the steps from part two of this tutorial as soon as possible.
Higher Battery Consumption
Spy apps secretly running on your device will surely increase battery consumption. If you left your device with your jealous spouse for some time and since that time your Android phone or tablet has been consuming batter much more quickly than it used to, something may be going on!
Higher battery consumption may also be caused by some misbehaving app (not necessarily a spy app) so you should try to restart your device and see if battery consumption comes back to normal. If it doesn’t, you are either spied on or your battery is dying and needs a replacement (as long as you have a replaceable battery.
Higher Data Usage
Higher data usage is one of the top and the most obvious symptoms that you are being spied on. To check your battery consumption do the following:
- Go to Settings > Data usage and analyze the chart. I suggest you compare the last five or six months and see how data consumption varies. Is the amount of data higher than it used to be?
- You can also view App usage. The spy app won’t probably be listed here but it’s worth analyzing these data and look for any abnormalities.
If your phone has a secret task of reporting what you are doing “in the background”, it may be sometimes overloaded and behave strangely. Of course, professional spy apps should not impact how a device spied on is working or be easy to detect, but there are no rules without exceptions.
An Android phone with some poor spy apps installed may:
- crash often
- reboot without any notice
- send or receive weird text messages on its own (especially with some nonsense characters)
- make calls on its own
- shut down or turn on unexpectedly
- light up when it’s idle
Your Android Device Has Been Rooted
Some spy apps require rooting to work properly. If you haven’t rooted your phone (and you don’t even know what rooting is), you may want to check if your jealous significant other hasn’t done that for you.
You can easily check if your Android device has been rooted with app Root Checker. All you need to do is install the app from Google Play and click on Verify Root. The screen you see below is actually good news (the phone hasn’t been rooted).
If it says that your Android device has been rooted (and you weren’t the one who did it), something is probably going on! In that case, I would move to the second part as soon as possible!
Part Two: How to Remove Spy Apps from Android
As I mentioned above, it’s usually very difficult to detect spy apps on your Android device without high technical skills and professional tools.
However, if you suspect that someone is spying on you with your Android device, you can easily put a stop to it (even if you don’t know exactly what spy apps they are using).
Here is your to-do list to remove spy apps from your Android device:
Disconnect your device from the Internet.
The first thing you have to do if you suspect that someone is spying on you is to disconnect your device from the Internet. Make sure that both Wi-Fi and Mobile Data are turned off. To be 100% sure that your device is offline, turn the Airplane mode on!
Once your device is disconnected, it stops sending data to your oppressor (until you connect it to the Internet again). With your device offline (i.e. temporarily protected), you can move on to taking the next more serious steps.
Restore Factory Settings.
This is the most effective method I recommend to anyone who thinks that someone might spy on them using their Android device. Restoring factory settings means that you reinstall a fresh image of Android on your device with only the default apps provided by the manufacturer.
Restoring factory settings wipes all the spy apps on your device. Remember that restoring factory settings also wipes all of your data (images, text messages and accounts) so you have to remember to do a backup before (but don’t back up apps).
To restore factory settings go to Settings > Backup & reset and choose Factory data reset.
Sometimes it’s enough to update your Android OS to stop spy apps from working properly. However, this method may not always work so it’s best to at first restore factory settings and then update your Android.
You can learn more about updating Android in this article: How to check for updates on Android.
Unroot Your Device If It Has Been Rooted Without Your Knowledge.
If your device has been rooted without your knowledge and consent (and you don’t need root access), you should unroot it. Fortunately, there is a great app called KingoRoot which lets you both root and unroot your device with one click (you don’t need to copy and paste cons of files between your phone and computer).
In this tutorial you will learn how to unroot your device with the use of the app.
Install Some Anti-Spy App.
Once you have cleaned your Android device, your next move should be to protect your device from further espionage. The first thing to do should be to install some anti-spy app. Here is what I recommend you do:
- Download and install Anti-Spy Mobile Free.
- Scan your device. Review the results and take the proper action.
Sell The Device And Buy A New One.
Even though all of the above methods combined give you almost 100% guarantee that you are no longer spied on, if you want to be 100% sure, buy a new device and destroy the old one.
Turn On Two-Step Verification In All Your Accounts.
One you protect your device against spy apps, you should also make sure that all of your accounts (e-mail and social accounts especially) are also protected. The best form of protection is two-step verification thanks to which your spouse won’t be able to log in to your accounts even if he or she knows your password.
They will also need to input the unique SMS code that will arrive each time someone tries to log in using your account. Two-step verification in your Google account and on Facebook are a must!
Did you manage to successfully remove spy apps from your Android device? Is your device now behaving properly? Did you manage to detect what spy apps have been installed and secretly running on your device? Feel free to post me your comments in the comment box below. I would love to hear from you.