Spyware is malicious spyware that can sneak into the nooks and crannies of your Android device. If your device gets infected with spyware, you may be sending your username and credit card details directly to cybercriminals. Learn how to manually detect and remove spyware on Android, or get complete protection for your device with our mobile security software tool.

Why is spyware so dangerous? 

Just as James Bond manages to infiltrate the lairs of his enemies, spyware infiltrates your device to access the most personal information, and all without your knowledge or consent. And while James Bond is a spy with generally good intentions, cybercriminals using malicious spyware have very different goals. Spyware is an especially dangerous form of malware because it hides while scrutinizing private and sensitive data such as usernames, passwords, banking and credit card information, or your location. Hackers can easily use this data to commit identity theft, fraud, and other crimes.

Spies frequently record their targets, and spyware is no exception. Depending on the type of spyware like spynote infecting your Android device, it may be able to record audio or video through the device, or monitor your browsing history or physical location. Some special forms of spyware, called keyloggers , can even record everything you type.

When someone you know installs a spy app on your device without your permission or knowledge, we’re talking about stalkerware . These apps are often used by jealous couples, suspicious businesses, or over-anxious parents. Stalkerware is a bit different from other types of spyware in that it doesn’t send your data to an unknown cybercriminal, but to someone you know personally. Stalkerware can be used to commit blackmail or extortion, or as a tool in domestic violence. For this reason, stalkerware is a very dangerous violation of privacy .

On top of that, spyware is designed to be invisible, which makes it hard to detect and remove.

Are all Android devices vulnerable to spyware?

Spyware for Android phones is more than common, and unfortunately, all Android phones and tablets are vulnerable to infection. And while spyware is not a virus (it is a different type of malware), phones can be affected by many types of malware .

When it comes to other Android devices, like smart watches and TVs, or other gadgets, the risk is much lower. Although any device with software and internet access is technically a potential target for malware, not all devices suffer from cyberattacks with the same frequency. However, this could change in the future, when the popularity of the IoT sector increases. 

Spyware for Android phones is more than common, and unfortunately, all Android phones and tablets are vulnerable to infection.

The idea that a hacker could spy on, say, all of your health data through your smartwatch is certainly disturbing. Fortunately, today’s smartwatches essentially function as an extension of the phone. So if you properly protect your phone from spyware, your other devices will be safe too.

How to detect spyware on your Android phone or tablet

Spyware is designed to hide itself, which makes it difficult to detect. You will not see an icon in your application list with the name “Spyware”. However, there are signs of infection that can help you locate spyware on Android devices. To check if your phone is “bugged” with a spy app, keep an eye out for the following:

  • Unexpected slowdowns or crashes. Apps take longer to load or crash, the operating system is not working properly, or the phone seems slower, in general.
  • Battery and data drain faster. Spyware software secretly runs in the background with the intention of staying hidden, but it uses a lot of battery and data (when not connected to a Wi-Fi network), which can also result in a higher phone bill.
  • New or different applications or settings. Apps you don’t remember installing or changes to settings, such as a new home page or constant pop-ups, can indicate an infection.
  • Constant overheating. Normal use of the phone causes heat, but malware can cause the device to get much hotter than usual.

It can be difficult to diagnose the precise cause of these issues as they may be due to another form of Android malware that needs to be removed . You may also need to speed up or clean your Android device to improve speed, battery or overheating issues.

How to remove spyware from Android 

If you suspect an infection, you should proceed with Android spyware removal immediately. It’s best to get rid of spyware before it has a chance to expose your personal data to cybercriminals. Luckily, learning how to remove spyware from an Android phone isn’t too difficult, and you do have a few options.

By Mr Stew

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