Recently a woman named Samantha Brick from the UK made headlines when she confessed that her husband spied on her phone – tracking her movement and reading her messages – using a spying app. That may not bother her, but invisible Android spy apps are a threat to our personal lives and an obnoxious invasion of privacy for cell phone users.
The reason is the way they creepily seep into our lives, not only our phones. First, they are illegally used in the smart phones without your consent. The second and most concerning is that they are unauthorized and someone installs them only when the person has access to our phone. It sends thrills through our spines if somebody breaks into your phone by breaching the trust he/she enjoys by being closer to you.
Why should we bother for a spyware app on our phone?
Setting aside their legal status, installing these apps is morally questionable due to the plethora of dangerous looking features they offer. Being spied can give valuable personal and financial information about that person. There are many invisible Android spy apps and Xnspy is one such powerful spying app that can perform following spying functions:
Knowing your Location: This app can provide all the information about the target person’s location and his location history. It keeps a location history of all the places the person visits and if that is not enough to fear it offers the feature of geo-fencing through which the user can check your movement to and from specific locations.
Spying on your Calls: Xnspy can provide all the information regarding the incoming and outgoing calls on a smartphone. It has all the recordings of the call on the target person’s phone. It means that is constantly spying on you when you are on a call. It also provides the location during the calls and time stamps when the calls were made.
Spying your Surroundings: Suppose you are not on a call but the spying person can hear everything around your surroundings. The app makes it possible through an ambient recorder. It means that besides knowing your location and your calls, your surroundings are also being monitored. This makes it a dangerous tool for spying.
Access to the Multimedia: Ever wondered how private pictures of famous celebrities go viral online even without their permission? These apps can also breach your privacy by providing access to all the media on your phone. It can access all files like videos, pictures, documents and multimedia gallery on your cell phone. So think before you share any private pictures through your phone.
Accessing your text messages: This invisible Android spy app can access all the messages in your inbox. So the user can spoof on every message you send and receive. By doing so they can gain access to your important financial or banking credentials if you have shared any through text messages. Always keep your financial information safe.
Monitoring your Social Media Activity: Everyone is a social media user nowadays, in fact people use different social media platforms to express themselves. But this app can provide access to all the famous instant messaging apps like Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, WhatsApp, Skype chats, and Viber etc. This app can monitor all the text messages shared through these apps. So beware! You are being watched 24/7.
Signs or symptoms that spyware are present on your mobile/ How to ascertain that your phone has a spyware app?
There are several signs that suggest your phone is being spied or monitored some way. Following are the ways you can detect that a spyware is installed on your phone.
- Battery temperature feels warm: Your battery temperature is an indication of a possible phone tap. If you feel your phone feels warm even when it is not in use then it may be that your phone could still be in use and secretly transmitting data. However, it is only a potential sign.
- Diminishing Battery Capacity: Reduced battery performance is another indication of a spyware affected cell phone. If a mobile is being spied on, it is recording your activities and transmitting them to a third party. This leads to an increased battery usage and consequently the battery loses its capacity. A tapped cell phone may also be constantly recording your conversations even when the phone seems to be idle and as a result, it will chew through battery life. You can check this by replacing another phone’s battery with your battery, comparing the results of the two will make it clear whether your phone is being spied or it’s defective in some way.
- Unusual sounds during calls: If you hear clicking sounds, static or distant voices coming through your phone during calls, it can be a sign that you are being spied on. It is because of advanced operating systems in smartphones. These issues were associated with old style analog networks. If you hear fragmentary voices, it is possible that your phone is being tapped.
- Phone Showing Activity when idle: Even if you are not using your phone and it is making noises or lightning up its screen, or it reboots without any external command. It is possible that someone is remotely trying to access your device. Because when idle, your phone should be silent except usual call and message alerts.
- Increased Data Usage: Some invisible Android spy apps use extra data to send the collected information. It is common for such apps to use GPS to track your phone’s locations or use data roaming to report back to whoever is controlling them. So always check any unexplained increase in your monthly data usage. The better spyware programs data usage has been reduced and is almost impossible to spot but the poor apps show significant data usage.
- Phone takes long to shut down: A smartphone completes its tasks that are in process before it is shut down. If your phone is being spied on, it will have to complete its process before it shuts down. As a result, if a phone takes longer than normal time to turn off especially after a call, text, email or web browsing it could be sending information to a third party.
- Do not ignore odd messages: If you receive a text message that looks like a computer code or muddled numbers, it is possible that it is an indication of an ‘instruction’ message sent by the remote controller of the spy app on your phone. The spyware work by transmitting such messages and although they usually go unnoticed, they may sometimes appear in your inbox.
- Real World Evidence: Last but not the least, one of the best way to tell if you have an invisible Android spy app installed on your smartphone is by paying attention to what is going on in your surroundings. Has anyone close to you said or done anything suspicious? It could be as simple as forgetting to sound surprised when you tell them something important. You can also ponder who has access to your phone and who knows your pin or password, as they could have installed something without you noticing. Also, keep an eye on the apps displayed to notice if there are any you do not recognize.
Methods to remove spyware app:
Following are some of the methods that can help you remove a spyware from your smartphone:
Change your Passwords:
If you share the same password for every account you have then you must change your password. That is the most common mistake people make, they have the same passwords for all their accounts, iCloud, Email, Facebook or Instagram should all have unique passwords. I am suggesting this because if someone gets a hold of your password then the person will have access to all your accounts and you may never know about the person because he can be located anywhere in the world. So changing all your passwords makes your smartphone pretty much secure.
Factory Reset to Remove a Spyware:
Running a factory reset is the most efficient and effective way to remove and uninstall an invisible Android spy app from your smartphone. Factory reset allows you to reset any cell phone back to its original settings and the virgin operating system it had when it was first started. It almost uninstalls everything, and reinstall a fresh copy of the software. It is the most common way to fix a variety of problems with smartphones.
Factory reset will wipe out all saved contacts and saved settings and for that reason, it is the most viable method to remove a tracking software from your phone.
Updating the Operating System:
Updating or reinstalling the phone firmware or operating system has the same effect as factory resetting your phone. Updating a firmware can be a good way to stop the spyware app from monitoring you any longer. By installing a different version of operating system, there is a good chance that the spyware will remain no longer compatible and cease working. This method can also work if you revert back to an older OS version as a temporary solution.
How to avoid spyware on your phone / precautions / prevention?
Backup your Phone First – Doing a factory reset will return your phone to how it was when you first bought it. And since it removes all the apps, data, and contacts on your phone. You need to backup all of the data you want to keep so that you can restore these once the phone has been reset.
Use the Password Lock Feature – As mentioned earlier that installing an invisible Android spy app requires physical access to your phone, so the easiest way to prevent it is to keep your phone secure. All phones come with a password lock feature – make sure to set a hard to guess PIN and keep it to yourself.
Use a Password App – You can take a step further and use one of the more advanced security apps. You’ll find many free and paid apps to manage secure passwords and automatically lock your phone.
Install an Antivirus – there are loads of antivirus available for all phones which can help to protect your cell phone. Installing them can stop the operations of any spyware on your smartphone.
You can be shocked if you discover that someone is monitoring you with spy software. Most targets of spy software aren’t even aware that this kind of software exists on their phone. It may not be personal perhaps it’s for business reasons. It may be personal, perhaps there’s an abusive ex-partner on your trail who is insecure about you. But if you’ve detected any of the behaviors above perhaps you’re already suspicious. And if you have spotted unusual behaviors on your phone it’s at least worth checking out and remembering that there is lots of very power and easy to use spy software out there.