Topic / Security / How to find and remove spyware from your phone

How to find and remove spyware from your phone
8 min read
fairly difficult
Surveillance isn't just the purview of nation-states and government agencies -- it's often closer to home.
Our digital selves are now an established part of our identity. The emails we send, the conversations we have over social media -- both private and public -- as well as photos we share, the videos we watch, the apps we download, and the websites we visit all contribute to our digital personas.

There are ways to prevent a government agency, country, or cybercriminals from peeking into our digital lives. Virtual private networks (VPNs), end-to-end encryption, and using browsers that do not track user activity are all common methods.

Sometimes, however, surveillance is more difficult to detect -- and is far closer to home.

Also: Best ethical hacking certifications

This guide will run through what spyware is, what the warning signs of infection are, and how to remove such pestilence from your mobile devices, if it is possible to do so.

For those with little time, check out the abridged version below:

What is nuisanceware? At the bottom of the pile, you have nuisanceware, which often comes in software bundles together with legitimate, free programs. Also known as Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUP), this sort of software may interrupt your web browsing with pop-ups, change your homepage settings by force, and may also gather your browsing data in order to sell it off to advertising agencies and networks. Although considered malvertising, nuisanceware is generally not dangerous or a threat to your core privacy and security.

What are spyware and stalkerware? Spyware and stalkerware are types of software, often considered unethical and sometimes dangerous, that can result in the theft of data including images, video, call logs, contact lists, and more. These types of software are sometimes found on desktop systems but are now most commonly implanted in mobile handsets across all operating systems. Operators -- whether fully-fledged cybercriminals or your nearest and dearest -- may be able to harness the software to monitor emails, SMS and MMS messages sent and…
Charlie Osborne
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