If you are suspecting that someone is spying on your smartphone or that there is malware that causes too much advertising to appear or popup on your Android phone, there are several ways to check and detect any malware, adware (advertising app ) or spy software (spyware).
It should be borne in mind that, even if you are not specifically targeted by someone, there are applications that can carry infections on the system and, by deception, obtain permissions to read private data such as the history of visited sites, passwords, documents and phone files, numbers in the phone book, messages sent and received. This can be very dangerous and pose a very big security threat, so you have to identify it on time and prevent potential attack.
How to Know Your Android Phone is Infected with Virus or Spyware
The symptoms of the presence of spy software or malware hidden in Android can be detected once you notice any of these:
1. Weird Phone Behaviors
If your smartphone opens applications by itself, if it emits sounds that are not those of the usual notifications or if you discover messages marked as already read which we had never seen before, it may be that there is a spy software on the smartphone.
2. Phone Running Slower Than Normal
This is not necessarily a symptom of viruses on Android, but it can be a possible effect of some hidden application that remains running in the background by monitoring the activities on the phone and sending private data outside. If, however, you have an old smartphone or full of applications and photos, the fact that it becomes slow to respond to each command is almost normal.
3. Apps that You Didn’t Appear Out of Nowhere
If you see app icons in the list of applications that we have never installed manually and they should not be there, it is very likely that the Android device was hit by malware or spyware and that these apps were created to extract information from your device.
4. Excessive Use of Data
If your data bundle finishes quicker than normal without you downloading or watching videos with it, it’s a symptom of virus inside the system.
However, this is a more difficult symptom to detect, because today using wifi connections or even being connected with consumer connections with fairly wide limits, any virus that sends data secretly does not make itself very noticeable. You should therefore check the use of the network by going to Android Settings> Wireless and networks> Data usage. Here you can see the list of applications that have used the internet connection to communicate with the outside world and you can see if some app that you never use is instead constantly communicating online in the background.
5. The Battery Drains Faster
Although this problem can depend on various factors and the age of the phone, if there is a virus or spy software installed on Android, this certainly consumes energy and makes the battery last less. In Android Settings you can go to the battery section to see the apps that use the most battery and find out if there are intruders or applications that we never use. In some smartphones it is also possible, always in the battery settings, to manage the automatic start of the app when the phone is turned on and to identify problematic or harmful apps.
How to Remove Malware or Spyware from Android
If you have one or more of the symptoms we have seen above or if you want to be sure your device is safe, you can download and run an app that works to scan the phone’s internal memory in order to detect and remove any suspicious malware or apps .
As an app to do the virus check you can use Malwarebytes Antimalware for Android, with proven reliability or specific apps such as Incognito Spyware Remover which is very simple to use or CM Security, the most popular and used phone antivirus in the world.
There are also free antivirus for Android, very powerful and effective, which can be used to do a check every now and then (but personally I would not keep active on the phone all the time).
These applications are able to detect all those apps that can have access to personal information, which can monitor our location, know the details of calls, read messages etc. .
Preventing Malware and Spyware on Your Smartphone
We talked in another article about how to protect Android from malware and malicious apps, viruses and spies.
Also, inside the Android system there is a protection system called Google Play Protect, which is already active and can be controlled from the security settings. Still in the security settings you can see when the latest system security updates have been installed (if the phone is old the phone may not be updated for some time).
Always in this set of options you should find, under the item Other settings (but it can change depending on the phone used), find the apps that are administrators of the device and disable the installation of apps from external sources that are not the Google Play Store.
In the settings> Apps, you can check the permissions and apps with special access (this hidden menu is to be searched and changes according to the type of phone). Special access apps can ignore battery optimizations, access to notifications, unlimited data access, and even change system settings.
As precautions not to be spied on the phone , one of the most important is not to use public wifi networks without protecting the connection with a VPN app for Android. Crowded places where Wi-Fi is public are a favorite spot for hackers and spies to infect connected devices.
There are many ways to infect an Android smartphone because it is a semi-open and less controlled system than the iOS system of the iPhone, but it is also easy to protect the phone, even if, after a few years, you will be almost obliged to buy one new, if it is no longer updated.
Checking for updates on your Android phones is essential to install patches to security bugs, which can be exploited by malicious websites, apps and hackers to infect anyone’s smartphone.