How to Remove Spyware from an Android Phone
By Olivia Roberts
If you’ve read any of our recent blog posts, you’ll know that these days it’s not difficult to hack Android devices. Off-the-shelf spy apps are now available for as little as $30 – and you don’t need to be a technical genius to install them onto someone else’s device.
Not only is Android spyware affordable and easy to install, but it can exist on your device completely without your knowledge. Once a malicious app has been installed, it can potentially access almost anything on your phone. That means images, videos, GPS location, text messages, call logs, emails, passwords, bank account details, and more. Some spyware can even record your calls.
That’s why it’s so important to ensure that you regularly check for spyware on your device and remove it as soon as possible. The easiest way to do a spyware scan is by installing the free Certo Mobile Security app for Android phones. This spyware removal tool allows you to automatically check for malicious software on your Android device, along with ensuring that critical system settings aren’t making your phone vulnerable to attacks.
Want the quick fix?
Download the free Certo Mobile Security app, scan your phone and tap ‘Remove’ if any threats are found.
How to Remove Spyware From Your Android Device
If you’ve discovered spyware on your cell phone you’ll probably want to remove it as soon as possible. In this section, we’ll discuss some effective methods for removing spyware from your Android device, including checking for suspicious apps, reviewing app permissions, and using anti-spyware software.
1. Look for strange apps on your device
If you spot any suspicious apps that you don’t recognize, there’s a chance that your phone could have a spyware infection. We recommend uninstalling any apps that you don’t recognize or that seem suspicious. A quick search online can often give you more information about an app if you’re not sure.
2. Check app permissions on your phone
Another way to reveal and remove malicious apps is to check sensitive permissions on your device (e.g. access to camera or your location) and review which apps have been granted these permissions. This is a quick and effective way to uncover malicious apps that have been hidden or are disguised as real apps.
Follow these steps to view and change your app permissions (they may differ slightly depending on your device):
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap Apps or Manage Apps.
- Tap App Permissions.
- Tap each permission (e.g., camera, location) to check which apps have access.
- If you find any apps that look suspicious and have permissions that you did not grant, tap Uninstall to remove them from your device.
3. Use your phone’s inbuilt virus scanner
Most phones from major manufacturers come with a basic virus scanner pre-installed. This antivirus software will help you locate spyware on your Android device, and can also be used to remove many types of malicious software.
If your device doesn’t have anti-malware software pre-installed, then at the very least you should ensure that Google Play Protect is activated. This will scan your device to check for any known malicious or harmful apps and is included with all recent versions of Android.
Here’s how to activate Google Play Protect:
- Open the Google Play Store app.
- Tap the profile icon at the top right of your screen.
- Tap Play Protect.
- Tap Turn on.
4. Remove Android Spyware the Easy Way with Certo
If you want a quick fix and the most comprehensive way to destroy spyware for good, install Certo Mobile Security, the award-winning free anti-spyware app. It’s been designed from the ground up to find and remove Android spyware. At Certo, mobile security is what we do—you can relax knowing we’ve got your back.
Install the Certo Google Play Store app here:
How to Reduce the Risk of a Spyware Infection
Prevention is better than cure, and there are a number of ways to stop hackers from being able to access your phone in the first place. Here are some tips:
Create strong passwords
Hackers often gain access to your phone by knowing—or guessing—your password. Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols to increase your online security. Don’t use passwords that are easy to guess (for example, your birthday), and never share them with anyone.
Use two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication is an easy way to protect your private data from hackers. It works by requiring two pieces of information to log in, rather than just one. For example, you might be required to enter a password as well as a verification code sent to you by text message.
Set up two-factor authentication on your Google account by following the steps provided on its website.
Keep your device updated
Hackers are known to take advantage of security flaws and vulnerabilities in older versions of operating systems, enabling them to hack Android phones. Keep yours safe by regularly updating your phone to make sure it is running the latest software version and security fixes.