Mobile security is of crucial importance in 2022. With improving technology, cybercrime has been on a steady rise, begging the question of what can be done to ensure optimal mobile security?
The internet has a lot of people who use malicious programs to infect or hack mobiles, use apps to catch a cheater, and other programs to steal sensitive information. As a result, it’s essential that you understand how these programs work and what you can do to keep your mobile safe from them.
Let’s start with spy apps.
What Are Spy Apps and How Do They Work?
Spy apps are comprehensive programs that are designed to scan and extract all the information present on a device to be reviewed or altered based on the hacker’s discretion. They can record all kinds of information, such as the device’s GPS locations, all calls, text messages, social media chats, passwords, and much more.
These are just some of the reasons that make spy apps so detrimental to a user’s privacy and security online. Given below is a more detailed list of what spy apps can do –
- They can record all incoming and outgoing calls made to and from a device, along with information about the caller, the duration of the call, and their respective timestamps.
- Track and record all incoming and outgoing text messages, along with information about both users and any media files shared.
- Record and monitor real-time GPS locations to track where someone is at any given point in time.
- Monitor all social media chats, along with any media files shared between both users. These apps include Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat, Viber, Tinder, Kik, and many more.
- The ability to monitor all keystrokes entered on the device, giving the hacker access to all passwords and other sensitive information.
- Monitor all activity on the web browser, along with how frequently the user visits a given website. Some apps also allow the user of the app to remotely block certain websites.
- The ability to remotely turn on the camera or microphone to record the device owner’s surroundings.
As you can see, spy apps can be very dangerous in the wrong hands, as it gives the individual almost complete control over the target device.
What Is Malware And How Does it Infect a Device?
Malware is a blanket term that refers to any malicious and infectious software that hackers use to extract information from devices or networks for fraudulent purposes or financial gain. This data can range from healthcare records to financial or other confidential data, making these types of programs very dangerous.
This information is also used as a means of carrying out crimes like identity theft. For instance, identity fraud losses went up by 45% between 2019 and 2020, and these rates have only increased.
Malware is of several types, and each of them is specifically designed to infect a target device or network in a specific way. Some of these types include –
How Can You Detect Malware on Your Mobile Device?
Now that you know how potent these different types of malware can be, it’s essential that you understand the signs that can point to the presence of these programs on your mobile.
Your Phone Starts Heating Up Without Use
One of the first symptoms of malware on spyware on your phone is that your phone starts heating up with the simplest of activities, or even when it’s lying idle. Most phones are designed to handle tasks like making calls, sending texts, or using social media without them heating up. However, if you suddenly start noticing that your phone is heating up without cause, this could be a sign of malware running in the background and straining your device’s processor.
You Start Noticing Strange Changes on Your Phone
Another sign of the presence of malware on your device is that you might start noticing strange changes on your phone. This could include a change in the device’s settings despite you not authorizing or making them yourself, new apps on your phone which you never downloaded yourself, or anything else that’s different from the status quo.
These changes could be the result of remote controls that a hacker could be making on your device without your authorization. For example, one common change is when the device’s location turns on automatically even after you turn it off. This often happens when you’re traveling, indicating that someone is monitoring your GPS location in real-time.
Your Phone’s Data Runs Out Much Quicker Than It Usually Does
A third sign that could point to the presence of some kind of malware or spyware on your device is when you notice your device’s data running out much quicker than it usually does. This often happens when spy apps continuously update information from your phone to its servers for a hacker to gain access to. This constant use of the internet can significantly eat away at the data allocated to you every month.
If you start noticing this happening, a quick way to check whether or not your data really is running out is to check your device’s settings. Go to the Mobile Data section and tally how much data each app has uses vis-a-vis the total data allocated to you for the month. If you notice a discrepancy while adding the amounts, you could be certain that there’s a hidden app not on the list that’s consuming your data.
Your Phone’s Battery Drains Out Much Quicker Than Usual
Another similar telltale sign that you can look out for when trying to identify whether or not your phone is infected by spyware is when you notice its battery running out much faster than usual. This can happen because spy apps are continuously working in the background to update their servers with new information on the device, from chats, calls, GPS locations, and more.
Your Phone’s Performance Starts Taking a Hit
One common symptom that most victims of spyware infections notice is that their phone’s performance is significantly reduced. This can manifest in simple ways, such as your phone taking much longer to load apps, to other strange changes like apps automatically closing or your device constantly hanging.
If you notice such changes all of a sudden, you should consider this a sign that there’s something wrong with your device or that it’s been infected by some form of malware.
How to Keep Your Device Safe From Malware
Now that you know what signs you need to look out for when you suspect that your device might be infected by malware, you must also know how to deal with the situation at hand. This starts from knowing what to do to remove malware from your phone if it’s already present to other precautions you can take to prevent any from infecting your phone ever again.
Install an Anti-Malware Program On Your Phone
The most important and crucial step that you must take if you suspect malware on your phone is to install a reliable anti-malware program. Anti-malware programs are designed to scan your device for any form of malware whatsoever and remove them from the roots. Once they remove this malware from your device, they also repair the damage that was caused by the infectious program.
Install an Antivirus Program On Your Phone
Another crucial software to download and set up on your device is antivirus software. Just like an anti-malware program, antivirus software constantly scans your device to defend it from potential virus attacks and to remove any existing virus on it. A good antivirus software that you can consider is Avast.
Perform a Factory Reset
If you’re not sure that an anti-malware or antivirus program has been able to get rid of the malware on your device, you can also perform a full factory reset on it. This will clear your phone of all apps, programs, and data and will subsequently get rid of any malware present on it.
However, before you perform a factory reset, you must ensure to take a backup of all your data, including your WhatsApp chats, as this is something people often forget to do.
Never Share Your Phone’s Passcode or iCloud Details with Anyone.
Another crucial precaution that you must start taking right away is to stop sharing your phone’s passcode or iCloud credentials with anyone. While you might completely trust someone, Sometimes, it’s the people we trust that install spyware on our devices to monitor them. This often happens in the case of couples who want to track what their partners are doing on their phones.
Most spy apps only require the user’s iCloud credentials to be installed on the target iOS device, which is also why it’s crucial that you don’t share these credentials with anyone.
Always Use a VPN When Browsing Using a Public WiFi Network
Last but not the least, you must also use a VPN when browsing using a public WiFi network. This is because public networks are hotspots for hackers trying to hack devices without security measures in place. A VPN creates a private network within a network to enable you to browse safely.
As you can see, malware comes in many different forms, and all of them can dangerously affect your privacy and security. As a result, it’s crucial that you start prioritizing your security right away. Research-driven websites dive into the many ways in which spy apps are used to monitor someone’s Android or iOS devices. This can give you a great insight into the dangers of these apps and the precautions you must take to keep your guard up at all times.
Chris Mcdonald has been the lead news writer at complete connection. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage he provides. Chris is also an author of tech blog Area19delegate. He likes spending his time with family, studying martial arts and plucking fat bass guitar strings.