The evolution of software usage is apparent, given the vast global reach. However, this growth comes at a cost, with hackers focusing on mobile phone users.
Spyware is malware that collects information from your mobile device without consent. Since mobile phones are a significant part of our everyday life, a hacker can access much information from your mobile, including location, passwords, and online payment details.
What Is Mobile Spyware?
Mobile spyware hides in the background of your mobile device. It steals information from the mobile device, like SMS messages, call logs, emails, contact lists, browser history, and even photos.
Mobile spyware sometimes has additional functionality like keyloggers to record keyboard strokes. It can also record conversations within a certain distance of the phone’s microphone. The malware can also access the phone’s camera to take photos in the background and use GPS to track the phone’s location.
In some cases, hackers might use spyware apps to control devices. The attacker uses SMS messages or remote servers to gain control.
History of mobile spyware
Reports of mobile spyware date back to when mobile phones became mainstream. Mobile spyware has become popular as it is stealthy and runs in the background while causing minimal disruptions to the phone user.
The most popular spyware is the Pegasus software. An Israeli cybersecurity firm is behind this software. Reports of the spyware targeting activists and journalists later emerged, presenting the danger of such surveillance tools.
Is Mobile Spyware Dangerous
Nearly every smartphone has some form of mobile spyware. Health and exercise monitoring apps can track your physical movements. Some apps might also track your location and purchase history to customize ads for a better experience.
While this kind of intrusion is scary, this form of spyware is often harmless, with app developers guaranteeing the protection of user information.
However, there is dangerous spyware. This type seeks to collect and use your personal information later for identity theft or corporate espionage. A mobile user wanting to cause you harm can access your camera, microphone, and real-time location data.
How To Stay Safe From Mobile Spyware
To stay safe from dangerous mobile spyware, refrain from installing third-party software. You should only download apps from the official app marketplaces: Google Play Store for Android users and App Store for iPhone users.
Always check app permissions after installing an app. For instance, a VPN app does not need access to your microphone and camera. Whenever an app asks for permissions that seem suspicious, uninstall it.
Be cautious of unsolicited attachments and links. You should also avoid public Wi-Fi collections. Hackers often use these channels to distribute mobile spyware.
Protecting your device should also be your utmost priority. Adopt comprehensive online protection software to protect your phone in the same way as your laptops and computers.
Removing Evasive Apps from Your Phone
To remove evasive apps from your phone, follow the below steps:
- Open Settings > Privacy & Security and open Safety Check
- Review app permissions and make any necessary changes
- You can also go to App Privacy Report and change app permissions
- Open Settings > Apps
- Click on the App whose settings you want to change
- Select Permissions
- Select “Allow” or “Don’t Allow” from the Permission settings
Mobile spyware can be a menace to smartphone users. You do not expect prying eyes to watch your every move when using your phone. However, the reality is that hackers are increasingly targeting mobile users to collect private information. Often, mobile spyware spreads through malicious apps. Therefore, always download apps from trusted developers on official app marketplaces.