How to Find & Remove Spyware from Your Phone

For most people, their phones have become an extension of themselves. From photos to calendars, contacts, and social media apps, they work together to create your digital identity.

At the same time, they also offer a potential weakness where hackers, or even government and law enforcement agencies, can implant spyware. It can be hard to detect if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Here’s how to find and remove it.

On an Android

If you have an Android, one clear sign that your phone has been compromised is that if you can download and install apps outside the official Google Play Store. This indicates that your phone may have been tampered with digitally without your consent.

To check your phone, go to Apps > Menu > Special Access > Install. Look at the list to find any apps you don’t recognize. If something is there that you’re not familiar with, then perform an online search to find out if it’s legitimate or simply delete it.

On an iOS

These are generally more difficult to install spyware on. However, if you are suddenly experiencing issues with your phone, it could be a sign it’s been compromised. This includes overheating, the battery draining unusually fast, and odd behavior from the operating system or one of the apps.

Another sign to look for? If, all of a sudden, you’re receiving unusual texts, emails or social media messages. This could an attempt to infect your phone. Delete these immediately, without clicking on them.

Also, if you receive a text from your bank, or other financial or government institution, like the IRS, demanding payment, ignore these. These are also classic phishing scams trying to infiltrate your phone and steal information.

Other ways to protect your phone

If you’re concerned, some other steps to take include:

  • Using a mobile antivirus product to detect and remove spyware.
  • Changing the passwords on all your accounts that contain important personal information, like your email and bank.
  • Enabling two-factor authentication, so you have to login from a code sent to a second device in order to verify your identity.
  • Keeping your operating system updated, since these often contain fixes for security vulnerabilities.
  • Using a PIN code to sign into your phone or enabling biometrics to protect your phone from physical tampering.

If these steps don’t work, you can perform a factory reset and eradicate everything, including any spyware on your phone. Just back up any important information first.

Looking for ways to boost security and keep data secure?

Look no further than Happy Faces Records Management. By partnering with our team, we can ensure your data is safe, whether it needs to be stored, managed or securely destroyed. Contact us today to get started.

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