Many times, when we use our mobile, we tend to forget the potential risks to which we are exposed when we open a banking application or access our social networks. From time to time, the illegal practices of many app companies that add spyware to their most famous games or utilities come to light and are only detected after they have achieved millions of installations.
One of the risks is the existence of spy apps that can go unnoticed in the mobile system running actions in the background to get your data and send them to third parties without your consent. Here we are no longer talking about privacy or personal data, many of these spy apps are directly trying to obtain bank data to empty accounts or to steal credit cards from their victims.
Do you suspect that you have a spy app on your mobile? If so, then read on and here we will tell you how to prevent them from spying on your phone.
Table of Contents
Activate Google Play Protect
When spying on a mobile there are applications that ask the user to disable any tool or resource protection device, which, in the case of Android, would be Google Play Protect, an application that is integrated by default in most Android phones and you should keep active as a measure to prevent them from spying on your mobile.
To check if it is active or not, go to Google Play and select the Play Protect option in the general menu. If it is deactivated, you must click on Activate to start the analysis in search of a potential harmful app.
If a harmful app is found, Google Play Protect will prompt you to uninstall it. Otherwise, it will indicate that everything is OK and there are no harmful apps on your device.
Check the battery consumption level of apps
A feature that warns about the presence of a spying app on the device is that its action has a significant impact on battery consumption, especially if it is an app that takes photos or videos of the user.
To check it, go to Settings and then to Battery Usage, although its location may change depending on the model of the phone you own, which is why it is advisable to use the search engine.
In other cell phones can be checked by going to Settings > Applications and then clicking on each of the applications displayed there. Once inside it will show us a series of data, one of them being the percentage of battery spent by it.
It should be noted that some spy apps can be camouflaged under the name and icon of another app known as Android System. You should click on it and check it, being that this type of apps can be uninstalled, unlike the real System apps.
Checking the data consumption level of apps
Along with the battery drain, the action of spy apps can also affect the data consumption to carry out actions without user authorization such as taking photos or get the files stored in the mobile gallery.
The way to check this is by entering the Android settings where you must select the Data usage option located within the Network connections section.
Once there you can see the list of apps you have installed on your phone along with the level of data used by each one. Check which app consumes more data than usual and take the corresponding measures. Some of these applications may alternate data usage with Wi-Fi connection in order not to generate suspicions.
Restart the mobile in safe mode
If the user suspects that an application is spying on his cell phone, restarting in safe mode can be a very useful option, since it will disable all third-party applications, completely neutralizing any spy app that may be installed on the user’s cell phone.
However, it may happen that the spy app has gained root access and made modifications to the system from within, which would make disabling it difficult, although this is not a situation that commonly arises. As a last resort you can apply factory reset to ensure that no trace of the spy app is left on the mobile.
Changing passwords for social networks and other online services
Once you have done the restart in safe mode or reset the mobile, change the passwords of all the accounts you have: Google, Facebook, Skype, Twitter, etc., as well as the passwords that correspond to banking applications and platforms such as PayPal in case you have them.
Enable two-step verification
Another way to avoid spying on your mobile is by activating two-step verification on all services that have this feature. This will prevent someone else, even if they get your username and password, from logging in.