A smartphone is more than just a means of communication or a terminal for playing games, gambling with a Cookie Casino bonus, and accessing the Internet. It also contains a lot of your personal data and access to money. All of this attracts cybercriminals, who sleep and see how to get this information.
Spyware is software that secretly gets onto your smartphone and then discreetly collects data and passes it on to an intruder. The most popular ways to catch such a nasty thing is to download an application not from the official store (Google Play for Android, AppGallery for HUAWEI models and AppStore for iOS) or to go to an infected site and download something from there, with which the attackers then install you a bad program remotely. Besides, spyware can be installed by someone who knows your phone password. For example, a jealous partner who is very interested in who you correspond with and where you go can do so.
But more often, spyware creators are interested in more mundane things. They want to steal money from ordinary people by accessing their banking applications. A slightly more sophisticated variant is to steal compromising photos and then engage in blackmail. But much more risky are corporate users with a serious level of access to valuable commercial information. The most experienced and cunning hackers go after them. They can even look at the victim and listen to the person through the smartphone’s camera and microphone.
The main task of mobile spyware is to do its dirty work inconspicuously. You will hardly find the most advanced solutions, used by “top” hackers, but you will also hardly encounter them – ordinary mortals are not interested in these guys. On the other hand, there are chances to catch a less sophisticated spyware program, and you can try to detect it “by eye”.
A good spyware program is unlikely to be noticed by the user, but it’s necessary to consider the behavior of the device. If the phone behaves abnormally, it may be a sign of the presence of malware. On the other hand, the problem can also be simply badly written software.
Here’s what should alert you:
- Your smartphone has started to run out of power faster than usual – the spyware is running in the background and heavily straining the battery.
- The phone suddenly turns on by itself Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, mobile data transfer, even though you know exactly that you haven’t touched these tumblers.
- The phone turns on, turns off, or reboots on its own.
- Ads appeared in the smartphone interface.
- Something has appeared in the app list that you definitely didn’t download yourself.
- You started getting alerts about attempts to log in to your accounts.
- You occasionally get strange notifications or program error messages on your screen.
The most effective way to combat spyware is a full reset to factory settings with total deletion of all data. It’s important not to use a backup copy for recovery – it’s likely that the malicious software has already managed to save there and when you unpack it, it will just start working again. Valuable data should be manually transferred to some media or cloud service and then manually returned. After the procedure is complete, don’t forget to change account passwords, and as an insurance measure, this can be done from a PC or another, definitely not infected, gadget.
In 99% of cases, resetting the system will save you, and the remaining 1% means that you are being handled by people with very high qualifications and capabilities.
If you’re sure it’s just one application, you can try to make do with small bloodshed. To do this, reboot your phone in safe mode and delete all the suspicious software. After that, however, it’s better to fix the result by additional checking with the help of anti-viruses.