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Learn the most common Android Spyware File Names and how to protect your privacy today.
Has your Android phone been acting a little funny lately? If so, the problem may not be an outdated operating system or worn-out device, but rather hidden spyware–malicious software that can hurt performance and pose an ongoing threat to your privacy.
Short for spy software, spyware installed on your Android device is designed to track any number of activities on your phone.
Easy to install but often hard to eliminate, spyware can provide any number of third parties extensive access to who you are and what you do on your phone.
And because we put so much of our lives on those Android devices, phone spyware may be exposing anything from your online passwords to banking info to hackers, scammers and numerous others.
This undoubtedly puts your privacy, security and even your identity at risk every day it remains on your device.
So, how do you know if spyware programs are on your phone? And, is there any way to find and delete them before it’s too late?
Below, we look at signs Spyware may be on your phone, common Android spyware file names to watch for and steps you can take to remove spyware and protect your personal data from attack.
There are many signs spyware apps may be infecting your mobile device and putting your personal data at risk. While malicious files and hidden spy apps are stealthy and operate largely under the radar, the symptoms may wave some giant red flags, indicating it’s time to take action.
For most mobile devices, phone reboots are automatic, pre-scheduled and initiated due to standard system updates. Also, you’re generally made aware of required reboots in advance.
However, random reboots and unscheduled restarts may be a sign that hidden spyware is working in the background.
Unexpected spikes in data use may indicate the presence of third-party apps operating on the sly. Of course, data usage increases don’t always mean you have malicious apps on your phone.
But when it veers from the norm, it may be time to investigate.
Hidden spyware and other monitoring software can sometimes use a lot of battery, quickly draining your device of power. If your Android phone starts losing power faster than usual, you may be dealing with a spy app.
Sudden or prolonged increases in phone temp are often a sign of battery overuse and may indicate the presence of spyware. Overheating in idle mode can point to installed programs putting too much strain on your device.
Are apps launching randomly on your Android phone? Being navigated to sites or apps without your say-so? Any cell phone activities taking place without your permission may be a sign someone has remote access to your device.
Slower load times and lagging performance may be caused by multiple apps running at once. If you’re experiencing sudden dips in speed, advanced spyware may be the culprit.
Weird SMS and MMS messages are often an aftereffect of hidden spyware on Android devices. If random text messages containing cryptic codes or symbols start to appear, your private data may be under surveillance.
Hearing weird noises or unusual static during recent phone calls? Wondering why that new phone makes strange sounds?
Lousy reception may not be the problem. Strange noises may indicate that someone is tapping your calls, a rare but not unheard-of consequence of spyware infection.
Longer-than-normal shutdown times might point to phone spyware, which often requires extra time to turn off.
Spy apps are often hidden in plain sight, appearing as run-of-the-mill user apps in the app management section of your Android smartphone. These apps tend to blend in and avoid unwanted scrutiny simply because they don’t look any different from other functions on your device.
However, many spy apps front as so-called harmless apps in Google Play Store and the Apple Play Store, subverting each program’s rules about malicious app behaviors.
Along with clicking on pop-ups, this is how hidden spyware makes it onto so-called “secure” devices and infects your phone.
In other cases, such software changes its label immediately after it has been installed. This means that while downloading spyware may be easy, detecting spyware and flagging it for deletion can sometimes be a real challenge.
When that happens, it may be best to install spyware scanning tools that can identify and target those files for removal.
Still, there are countless Android spyware files out there that are relatively easy to find and delete from your Android phone. Knowing the most common allows you to locate spyware and remove those system apps fairly quickly.
Want to find hidden spyware? Here are some of the most common spyware files names to note and flag for removal from your cell phone.
Auto Forward was primarily designed to help parents keep kids safe from online predators. Unfortunately, its popularity and effectiveness often make it a target for hackers looking to spy on you and (potentially) access your sensitive data.
It can also be installed from a remote location, allowing buyers to download the app without physical access to the target device.
Spyzie is a feature-packed spy app and one of the more sought-after spy tools on the market. Available for a monthly subscription, Spyzie allows the buyer to track activity like browsing history and even evaluate which apps are used more often.
One of the newer hidden spyware tools out there, PhoneSpector utilizes the latest in technologies to enable phone spying. PhoneSpector comes with a variety of popular features, including tools for tracking GPS locations and recording keystrokes.
This hidden app works on both Android OS and iOS devices.
XNSPY enables control of another device from remote locations, providing access to anything from phone calls, browser history and SMS messages to e-mail and more.
This advanced spy app can also pull info from chats active on social media accounts, as well as track the user’s GPS location from anywhere. XNSPY works on any Android device with a 4.0 or higher operating system.
Once installed, Highster Mobile monitors activities across iOS and Android cell phones. Highster is user-friendly and available to users for a one-time fee.
SpyEra offers a number of bells and whistles that make it an appealing option for monitoring a child’s online safety. But it’s these numerous capabilities and user-friendly interface that may also make this spyware on Android systems a useful tool for malicious actors.
SpyEra provides remote control, spy camera functionality and a host of other tools for remotely tracking activity.
Of all the hidden spyware on Android, FlexiSpy offers perhaps some of the best options for tracking phone calls and specific phone numbers. FlexiSpy is for 4.0.3 Android systems and higher.
Other notable mentions when aiming to find hidden spyware on your phone include Spy Video Recorder, Spyine, Ino Spy, iSpyoo, Daddy’s Eye, Hoverwatch, HelloSpy, Cocospy, Spyier, Qustodio, and Hoverwatch.
Now that you know what Android spyware file names to look for, it’s time to locate spyware hiding in your phone’s apps list.
To detect spyware on Android and flag it for removal:
Hidden spyware on Android often hides among downloaded files in your device.
If combing through your apps doesn’t indicate anything suspicious, you may want to check your downloads.
If you happen to locate spyware during your search, it’s time to initiate the removal process.
You don’t have to be a technological wizard or dynamo to remove spyware from your device. To delete spy apps and prevent the most common Android spyware file names from getting worse, start by:
Removing detected spyware. If you spot hidden spy apps on your phone, take steps to uninstall them quickly. Restart your device to verify de-installation.
Turning off your device. This immediately stops others from tracking your behavior and locating your info through your phone. It also allows you to research your options and prevent spy apps from doing even more damage.
Switching to “safe mode.” Once you’ve researched the problem, activate safe or emergency mode on your device. This allows you to somewhat box in that hidden spyware and keep it in check.
Updating your OS. Often times updating your ops system to the latest version is all that’s needed to prevent spyware from taking over your phone.
Scanning for hidden spyware on Android. Often, running a full malware scan on your phone protects your data by removing the malicious file.
Trying a factory reset. A factory reset is an effective way to get spyware off your phone, but it also erases all files and photos along the way. Use this option only after backing up all important images, contacts, text messages and other docs you don’t want to lose forever.
Updating your logins. The moment you find spyware on your Android phone, don’t wait to update your passwords for bank accounts, social media and everywhere else.
Knowing how to identify and remove malicious spyware can help protect your phone and your data. Once gone, hackers and thieves on the other end of that software can no longer use that app to track and steal your important information.
And to achieve an even higher level of security, consider removing your name and personal info from across the web.
Deleting your info from data brokers and background check sites ensures your address, phone number and loved one’s info no longer appear in Google search, allowing you to protect your data from criminals and others online.
With the right personal information removal solution, you can instantly remove your sensitive data from data collectors and search engines throughout the internet, making it even harder for thieves to find and use your data against you.