Spyware and stalkerware might sound like the work of obtuse governments desperate to know what their citizens are thinking about them, but recent years have proven that it is more than that. Now government agencies, especially in countries where civil rights are a good deal less open than they are in the West, still take a heavy hand in what people are doing online.
But it’s just not the government you have to worry about these days. Cybercriminals are getting more and more technologically advanced as the years go on, and the technology available to them is shocking if you know where to look.
Spyware tracks your keystrokes and sees what websites you visit and where your passwords and logins are leading. Stalkerware can be a bit more troubling, if not as damaging financially. It involves using someone’s social media and GPS capabilities on their phone to track where they are physically and who they are interacting with. Some parents use it to track their children, which is a sound strategy, but spouses and more disturbingly, ex-spouses or ex-love interests are also using it to see what the person they no longer date is doing, where they are doing it, and whom they are doing it with.
That sort of invasive technology does not deserve to be on anyone’s phone, which is why there are many techniques for not only finding such apps on your phone but also how to get rid of them. There are great coupons available for your device is a great first step to protecting yourself, but you need more help than just that.
The following steps can be implemented to keep aware of when spyware might be active on your phone and the best ways to get rid of it quickly and permanently.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
It might take an extra five seconds to unlock your device, but it will be totally worth it when you use this technique to deter thieves. If your password has been compromised, you’re normally dead to rights when it comes to hackers invading your system. But that second factor is how you beat them to the punch. When the password is entered, a text is sent to your phone or code has to be entered from a fob that most people attach to their car keys. Only after entering that second code is entry granted, and the code has a short shelf life, meaning even if a thief gets control of it once, it won’t do them much good in the long run.
Update your OS
It’s a classic sign of human laziness that people won’t allow their phone a few moments to upload its own operating system from time to time. The OS isn’t just a parlor trick or a new set of fonts, they are updated when something important is needed, usually security-related.
Run a Malware Scan
Your smartphone will have its own malware scanner that can be used in a pinch, but you’ll need to invest in one that can handle database upgrades and the sheer amount of volume of malware being released daily. Find a time when you’re not online and set your device to run a complete check as often as possible.