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Malware can be one heck of a headache to deal with, especially with the growing number of cases of ransomware attacks these days. No one wants to have any malware in their devices, especially those that track your activity and phone usage.
An example of malware that can do that is spyware. If you suspect your smartphone has been infected with spyware, there are ways to detect and even remove it from your device.
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What is Spyware?
Avast defined spyware as “a particularly dangerous type of malware because it hides inside your device accessing your personal information without your knowledge or consent.”
Per Kaspersky, legitimate software that monitors your data for commercial purposes is also considered spyware. Possible commercial purposes that software like this, commonly known as adware, could include advertising.
Spyware is said to be malicious when it is installed into your device without your consent. According to Kaspersky, the way spyware works is. First, it infiltrates your device via a malicious website or even a file attachment. It can also come in the form of an app install package.
The spyware then monitors and stores your data using tracking codes, screenshots, and even keystrokes. Lastly, the malware sends the stolen data to the author of the spyware.
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How to Detect Spyware in Your Phone
Avast has provided possible indicators or signs that your phone has been infected with spyware on its official website. Common indicators that your phone may have spyware are as follows:
- Your battery and data drain much quicker than normal
- Apps take longer to load and even freeze or crashes
- Apps you do not recognize are installed on your phone
- Your phone’s settings have been changed, but you did not make those changes
- Your phone overheats faster than usual
- Unusual pop-up messages while browsing on your phone
How to Remove Spyware From Your Phone
Whether you have an iPhone or an Android device, you can remove spyware from your smartphone on your own. There are even many ways you can do so.
One of the things Avast recommends you do is to update your system and/or perform a factory reset for your device. You can also opt to install a spyware removal app straight to your phone.
If you think any of the apps on your phone are suspicious and you are not even the one who downloaded it, you can also opt to remove the app/s.
Android users can also opt to remove the spyware themselves manually. According to Avast, users have to hold down the device’s power button to allow the turn-off and restart options to appear. Once they do, long-press the power off option and then choose Reboot to Safe Mode.
Users should then go to Settings then look for Apps or Apps & Notifications. Scroll through the apps for those that you find suspicious. Once spotted, uninstall the app/s right away.
If users end up encountering difficulty in uninstalling the app, it may be because it has device administrator permissions. To fix that, go to Settings, then Security, followed by Advanced, and lastly Device Administrators.
Users will then find a list of apps with device administrator permissions. Uncheck the box next to your suspected spyware app. A list will then pop up after that. Tap “Deactivate this device admin app.” The user can then try to uninstall the app once more.
Once all of that is done, restart the device and boot it to normal mode.
Read Also: How To Prevent Stalkerware Apps? Different Types Spyware Applications That Can Record Your Activities
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Written by Isabella James
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