Posted on September 23, 2020

Whether you’ve paid hundreds of dollars for your Smartphone or received a free Smartphone through the Lifeline program, spyware is a real threat. Most likely, you use your cell phone every day, whether to make a phone call, send a text message, or log in to your banking information, which is what spyware software tries to steal from you.

Spyware software will literally spy on you and your phone habits. It can learn to record your phone calls, read your text message, and even find the information you’ve entered into your phone, such as log in’s to various sites. Protecting this information is important to make sure that no one has the opportunity to steal your identity for their gain.

Identifying potential spyware is an integral part of phone ownership. There are a couple of items to watch for which can alert you to the presence of spyware software.

  • Spike in data usage
  • Activity during standby
  • Battery drain
  • High Temperature
  • Shuts down or restarts automatically
  • Performs slower than normal
  • Makes odd noises while you make calls or when it’s not in use
  • Unintelligible text messages are getting sent
  • Difficulty shutting down
  • Smartphone appearing slower

Let’s take a closer look at what can point you in the right direction to locate spyware on an Android phone.

Data Usage

Generally speaking, most of the spyware software that a phone can get infected with is a real data drain. Every month review the statements that your provider sends to see if there are any changes in the data usage.

Stay on the lookout for any drastic changes in the usage shown on those statements. If you believe you haven’t been using that much data on your phone, you may find yourself a victim of lower-quality spyware software that is draining data in order to send out what it’s collecting.

Of course, remember that any high-end software will be more sophisticated, sending out information while maintaining your data using the same as it always has been.

Random Activity

What this means is activity while you left your phone in standby mode. This would mean any activity outside of the regular phone calls or text messages you receive. If your phone is lighting up, for example, but there is no indication that a change occurred on it, a spyware software may be attempting to perform an activity in the background.

Battery Drain

Any app that you place on your phone will begin to drain your battery while it is in use, with some draining it more than others.  Spyware software will cause a drastic drain in your battery’s overall life, requiring you to charge more and more.

One thing to be on the lookout for is that your battery is draining without you initiating a battery-draining activity. For instance, you haven’t been playing the newest game, but instead, left your phone in standby mode on the desk only to find that your battery is half gone.

Higher Temperature

The more you use your phone, the hotter the battery gets. This could also be from your repeated holding of the phone, but most likely, it is the battery that warms up as it’s being used and expelling energy.

However, if you come back to a phone that has been sitting in idle mode and not charging, but feels hot to the touch, it could mean spyware software. If an intrusive app has been running in the background, it will cause the phone to heat up even while you are not actively using it.

Shut Down and Restarts

A phone that shuts down on its own is never a good sign, much as it’s not a good sign if it happens to a computer. If you find that your phone is restarting or shutting down without any reason to, such as you push the button or a prompted updated, it may indicate spyware software embedded in your phone.

Slower

All of your normal phone functions, from surfing the web to performing a restart, seem slower. Since you’re the only one that is familiar with how your phone normally functions, trust your instinct as most likely, it’s correct. If your phone takes more than a quick second or two to perform the basic function, it may need some more looking after.

Odd Noises

These noises could happen while the phone is in idle, or when you’re making a phone call. Though some noises are normal, it is not normal for a phone to make random sounds while it is in standby mode. It could be an indication that spyware was installed on the phone to monitor it’s behavior, causing noises.

Text Message

This means the phone is sending text messages on its own, or you are on the receiving end of some unintelligible messages. Some spyware that is on the lower quality end requires certain codes sent back and forth between the remote software on your phone and the base where it is storing information. It could be using a code language to receive or send messages and collect data.

Shutting Down Difficulty

Difficulty in shutting down your Android phone could mean that it was compromised by spyware software. When the device keeps trying to run the app in the background, it will try to prevent you from turning off the device.