As many of our readers may be aware, spyware is no longer reserved for the most technically-minded amongst us. The software needed to hack someone’s phone is now readily available to buy for as little as $30.
The consequence of that is, now, occurrences of hacking are much more common than in the past. Mainly due to the availability of commercial spyware along with the fact that someone can hack your phone with virtually no in-depth technical knowledge at all.
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What is mSpy?
The most popular version of this commercially available spyware is called ‘mSpy’. mSpy is a software product that touts itself as being the ‘ultimate monitoring software for parental control’. The problem is that people aren’t using this software just for parental control. Something the company appears to be well aware of based on a recent advert seen on Twitter promoting mSpy as a way of spying on your partner.
mSpy have two main products for Android – ‘mSpy Android Monitoring’ which is their main product (and the most intrusive of the two) – only available via their website and ‘mLite Family Phone Tracker, GPS Location App’ which is their ‘lite’ version of their software, available on Google Play.
Let’s take a look at both of these versions and talk about why they are a threat to your digital security.
mSpy Android Monitoring – approx $30 per month
As I mentioned above, this is mSpy’s main product and is only available via their website. The main difference with this software/app is that it has a lot more features compared to the lite version and allows much more in-depth monitoring and tracking.
Here’s a list of the main features:
- Track call history – This allows a hacker to see the call history of a user’s phone and view the contacts and numbers they have contacted in their recent call history.
- Spy on chats – By tracking apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat and others, this feature allows a hacker to view a full history of conversations between two users, that would otherwise be completely private.
- Read text messages – Similarly to the above feature, this feature allows a hacker to view all text messages on the device.
- Track GPS location – This feature allows a hacker to remotely keep track of the location of the victim’s phone.
- Monitor web browsing – This allows the hacker to track every single website visited on the device along with bookmarks, date/time visited, duration spent on sites, and also allows the hacker to completely block any site they choose.
- View all media content – This feature allows the hacker to remotely view and download all media on the phone such as pictures, videos, audio files, etc.
- And more! – Yes, there are even more features of this software – all of which are designed to intrude on your privacy.
As you can see, this software is actually really powerful considering the price a hacker would pay to get access.
One thing worth noting, unlike iPhones, an Android device does not need to be Rooted for many of these features to work. This makes installation a lot easier for the hacker when the victim has an Android phone or tablet.
mLite Family Phone Tracker, GPS Location App – Free
As opposed to mSpy’s main Android spyware product we looked at above, this is a fairly simple app designed to do one thing – track your location.
If a hacker installs this onto your device, then they will be able to see where your device is at all times.
Obviously, this isn’t as useful for a hacker compared to the full version, but this is really easy to install (as easy as downloading any other app on the Play store).
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Find and remove spyware such as mSpy in seconds.
So how do you detect if mSpy has been installed on your Android phone?
It’s not always easy to detect mSpy without the help of a dedicated app, especially the person who installed it took steps to hide it.
mLite Family Phone Tracker, GPS Location App
This is fairly simple. It’s not possible to hide mLite, so just have a look at your installed apps. If you see it, all you would need to do is just delete the app and it will not be able to continue tracking your location. To stay safe in the future, it’s recommended to only allow location tracking on your phone for apps that you know need it (e.g. maps, etc).
mSpy Android Monitoring
The full version of mSpy is designed to be hidden from the user, and does this very well.
That’s why we have developed our own Certo Mobile Security app designed to help Android users detect and destroy privacy invading spyware, including both versions of mSpy.
On top of that, our app can also find and fix insecure system settings that put your phone at risk, prevent unauthorized access to your data and help keep you protected online. All of which will help to reduce your risk of a potentially devastating privacy breach.
If you would like to know more about our app and the features that we have custom-built for the Android mobile operating system, just click here.