Your Android smartphone is a highly versatile device capable of doing a wide range of tasks. But did you know it can also be used to spy on you?
Spying apps are software programs used to monitor someone’s mobile phone activities. If you suspect that your Android device may be compromised, we’ll show you how to find hidden spyware on Android so you can keep your device and yourself safe.
How Can I Tell If A Spy App Has Been Installed On My Phone?
Finding spy apps on your phone is not an easy task since they usually operate in hidden mode or are disguised as native apps. However, some telltale signs can help determine if a spy app has been installed on your Android phone. In particular, you should be careful about the following:
● Is Your Android Device Rooted?
Rooting an Android phone is a gateway that allows one to bypass the official app stores and install spyware apps. If your device is rooted and hasn’t been done by you, you are certainly being spied on.
● Battery Draining Rapidly
A sudden drop in your phone’s battery percentage is one of the most common signs that your Android device has a spying app installed. If you notice that your battery is draining faster than usual, it could be because spying software is continuously running in the background and depleting the battery.
● Your Phone is Heating Up
If your device is heating up after only a few minutes of casual use, it may be because spyware is running in the background. Thus, heating the phone’s processor.
With a spy app installed, your phone can also heat up even if you are not using it. Moreover, there can also be a lack of processing speed on your phone. If your phone starts to run slower, it may have a spyware app running on it.
● Unusual Increase in Data Usage
A hidden spy app running in the background can cause an unusual increase in data usage. Spy apps transfer the recorded information to their online portal and use the phone’s data for it.
● Random Reboots and Shutdown
If your Android phone is suddenly rebooting or shutting down, you may have a spy app installed. The spy app does this to refresh itself, bypass a security feature, or better ingrain itself onto your device.
How to Find Hidden Spy Apps on Android?
We’ve talked about the signs that spyware might be installed on your phone. But how do you confirm it? How to detect spyware on Android phones? Let’s find out!
● Check the Installed Apps from Settings
First and foremost, check the applications which are installed on your Android phone by following these steps:
- Go to the phone “Settings” and scroll down to find the Apps section.
- You can see a list of all of the applications installed on your phone, including the system apps and the apps you installed later, such as social media and gaming apps.
- Look through the list attentively and see if there are any apps you don’t recognize or don’t remember installing.
Sometimes the spy apps get installed under names that won’t alert the user. So you might want to see if your phone has two calculator applications or something similar.
● Use Android File Manager
Another way to find hidden spy apps on your phone is to check your phone’s file manager to find if there is any APK file in the downloads folder that you don’t remember downloading.
- Open your phone’s File Manager and search thoroughly.
- If you find any APK file you can’t identify, it is highly likely that it’s a spy app.
● Check App Permissions
Spy apps require permission to use your device’s location, microphone, and camera. Therefore, although checking which applications have access to your location, camera, and microphone can take some time, it will help you discover if any Android spy apps are secretly spying on you. Here’s how to check:
- Go to your phone’s Settings. Find the “Apps” options and tap on them.
- Click on Permission manager.
- Select each permission to see which apps can access what.
● By App Drawer
Spying apps can also be hidden on your phone’s app drawers without your knowledge. As mentioned earlier, spying apps usually disguise themselves as the phone’s native apps so that they won’t catch your attention. However, to ensure that they don’t stand out (can’t have two app icons for Calculator or Photo Vault, for example), they are moved to the hidden app folder.
Follow these steps to learn how to uninstall a hidden phone spy app on Android.
- Go to the app drawer section.
- Or hold on to free space on the screen until you see additional options at the bottom of your screen.
- Head to the Settings. You will see a Hide Apps menu. Tap on it to see all available hidden apps.
You can find spy apps disguised as a phone’s native app from there. All you need to do is to press and hold that app’s icon and choose the Uninstall option to get rid of it.
Using these methods, you can find out if any hidden spy app is installed on your phone. You can also look online to see if the questioned app has been linked to any reports of spyware.
Not All Spy Apps Can Be Found
Most people keep their private and personal information on their phones, from their pictures and videos to their bank account details. Therefore, if you detect any of the signs discussed above – it is highly likely that someone has installed a spy app on your phone – take immediate action before the damage is done.
Make sure you employ the techniques mentioned to find hidden spy apps on your phone and uninstall them to keep yourself and your devices safe.
However, some spying apps do not mess up your phone’s hardware and software. Xnspy is a prime example!
Unlike the other spying apps, with the Xnspy spy app installed, your phone won’t be heating up, draining the battery rapidly, or rebooting. It makes it more difficult to determine whether or not this app is installed on an Android phone. Xnspy’s stealth mode is very effective and remains undetectable even if you check the installed apps in the settings on your phone.
Xnspy doesn’t make any icons. So checking hidden apps in your phone’s app drawer also proves ineffective for finding this app on your phone.