Spyware is a widely used, affordable and simple way to hack a person’s phone. Almost anyone can access it and it can be used to remotely download, view and steal your most private, personal information.

That could be anything from emails, text and chat messages, GPS locations (including recently visited locations), username and password information for all of your online accounts and browsing history. That’s just for starters, most spyware will let you collect a LOT more than that.

If you’re worried that someone would want to hack your phone to track your activities and collect your data then you need to install something on your device that will help protect you from the threats available.

The best thing to install for your own protection is Anti-Spyware. This is a type of app that when installed on your phone or tablet will recognise when spyware is on your device and will help you to remove it.

Unfortunately there are a lot to choose from and it can make it very confusing and also increases the potential of downloading a fake app that might do more harm than good. That’s why in this post, we’re going to look at some of the top Anti-spyware apps for Android available in 2020 on the official Google Play Store.

Note: In the list below, we mention something called ‘EICAR’. EICAR is a universal test (developed by the European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research) used to determine how well an anti-spyware app performs. We recommend only using an app that can detect EICAR, as this will give you much better protection for your phone or tablet.

1. Certo Mobile Security

Play Store Rating: 4.7

Certo Mobile Security is a simple but powerful anti-spyware app. Of the 6 apps reviewed, it offers best-in-class protection against spyware and other security threats. It’s the only app we tested that scans the entire device for spyware and allows you to easily remove any threats found.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Range of additional security features
  • Most thorough scan, analyzes both apps and the file system
  • Detects EICAR
  • No ads

Cons

  • Automated scanning only available in premium version

2. Protectstar Anti Spy & Spyware Scanner

Play Store Rating: 4.5

ProtectStar is a very well-designed and simple app to use. It is also the only other app on this list (aside from Certo Mobile Security) that will detect EICAR. This app is built using intelligent technologies that detect fraudulent elements such as fake and hidden apps as well as a wide range of other attacks.

Pros

  • Nice interface
  • Detects EICAR
  • Simple & easy to use
  • No ads

Cons

  • Doesn’t scan filesystem. Only analyzes apps
  • No additional security features
  • Automated scanning a paid feature

3. Incognito Spyware Detector

Play Store Rating: 4.3

Incognito is a useful app that is relatively easy to use. A great feature of this app is that it offers a range of tips to help you improve your privacy. However, there are some missing features that we consider a big negative. For example, this app doesn’t detect EICAR and only detects a small number of the most commonly-used spyware apps. This means you could still be vulnerable to other less popular types of spyware.

Pros

  • Offers privacy tips to help you stay protected
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Contains ads
  • Doesn’t detect EICAR
  • Only looks for a small number of specific apps
  • Automated scanning a paid feature

4. Cyber Tor

Play Store Rating: 3.9

A great feature of this app is that it allows you to block your camera with one tap. This means that a hacker who has installed spyware on your device cannot watch you via the cameras. However, this may not be particularly useful in a lot of situations, especially when you consider that the app does not detect EICAR – meaning you could be left somewhat unprotected in other areas.

Pros

  • Feature rich
  • Camera blocker can be helpful

Cons

  • Intrusive ads make the app harder to use effectively
  • Not very easy to use, can be confusing at times
  • Doesn’t detect EICAR

5. Anti Spy Mobile Free

Play Store Rating: 4.2

A good feature of this app is that it detects spyware on your device based on what permissions the apps are requesting (i.e. camera, microphone, etc). However, the free version only allows you to see the spyware on your device, you will have to upgrade to Pro if you want to remove the threat. On top of that, this app does not detect EICAR.

Pros

  • Detects spyware based on permissions rather than app name
  • One of the first spyware detection apps released for Android

Cons

  • Doesn’t detect EICAR
  • App design is very dated
  • Paid upgrade required in order to remove any detected spyware.

6. Anti Spy (SpyWare Removal)

Play Store Rating: 3.9

This app claims to be able to detect ‘official’ apps such as those used by government and law enforcement agencies. However, we have not been able to verify this. What we did verify, however, is that this app does not detect EICAR – indicating its scan may not be the most thorough, along with the hard-to-use interface and the intrusive 3rd-party advertisements.

Pros

  • Claims to detect government spy apps (unverified)
  • Offers security tips to help you stay protected

Cons

  • Doesn’t detect EICAR
  • Terrible interface makes it hard to use
  • Intrusive ads make the app harder to use effectively

Summary

As you can see, these are just the top 6 apps available for Android and there are a lot of features to think about when choosing the right app to protect your device.

Hopefully this has helped you make a decision about which app is the best for protecting your device. Even if you are not convinced about the threat to your security, having one of these apps installed on your device is a fool-proof way of ensuring you and your personal data stay safe in the future.