Tech - News
How To Tell If Spyware Is Hiding On Your Android Phone
By ROB RICH
Spyware is a constant annoyance at best (and danger at worst) for any device connected to the internet, which is something Android users know all too well. From innocent-looking apps quietly taking control of phones to fraudulent system updates, the nefarious software seems to be everywhere, and it's almost never easy to deal with once it takes root.
The best treatment, though, is preventing spyware from getting on your phone in the first place by making sure your device is up to date, avoiding suspicious links, surfing only on secure networks, and using strong passwords for your accounts. Now, if you suspect something has slipped through, you first want to check for any apps you didn't install.
Unfamiliar apps could be spyware trying to disguise itself as something mundane and easily forgettable. Pull up your device's Power menu screen, press and hold Power Off until the safe mode option appears, then select it. Once your device restarts in safe mode, open Settings and select Apps, then look for anything on the list that looks out of place and uninstall them.
To be certain you’ve removed everything malicious, you can restore your phone to the factory settings, which will completely wipe any and all data and apps that weren't present when it first came out of the factory. You could also use a third-party app designed to detect spyware, though if you decide to try one, be careful as the same rules for other unfamiliar apps apply.
Another option is to trick installed spyware into revealing itself by creating a shortened URL (shorturl, tinyurl, bit.ly, etc.) and sending it to a friend via text or social media. Ask them not to click the link, and after some time has passed, you can check the short URL supplier's metrics to see if the link was followed, and if it was, you likely have spyware.