Ever wondered why your partner seems to be one step ahead of you or knows your secret meetings? Well, you might have a stalkware installed on your phone, and here’s how to get rid of it.
Aside from exposing yourselves in the digital world, thanks to the advancement of technology, your security and privacy are at risk with the sprouting of stalkwares that you can easily install on your person of interest’s smartphone. These stalkwares are purposely installed on your devices to monitor every move and click you do on your devices.
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s director of cybersecurity Eva Galperin over encrypted chat, “Stalkerware is especially pernicious because it is such a rich source of information.”
“Stalkerware can track your location, record your phone calls and text messages, steal the passwords to the social media accounts you log into through your phone, reveal your contacts, your photos, your emails, and even your end-to-end encrypted communications,” she added.
However, you might get worried right now for any hidden stalkwares on your phone that you are not aware of, we’re here to help you out in identifying them and getting rid of it for good. Here’s how:
Here’s how to Identify:
Stalkerware particularly designed to be undetected by the user. Finding the specific stalkware is tedious and hard to find, but we have to use all the available options to remove one.
As for the iPhone users:
According to research for the Apple users, if there are stalkerware installed in it might show up as an app that is malicious.
The user may need to go to Settings > General > Profiles & Device Management. If you don’t see the last option, it means there’s no mobile device management profile installed on your phone, which is a good thing. If you have it, investigate by clicking “More Details.” There should be a “Remove Management” option in the settings.
As for the Android users:
There is a Root Checker app available in the Play Store called that can check for jailbreaking on your behalf.
And as for the setting, it is found in modern Android builds in Settings > Security > Allow unknown sources. (This varies depending on device and vendor.)
You can also check Apps > Menu > Special Access > Install unknown apps to see if anything appears any malicious apps, however, there is no guarantee that spyware will show up on the list.
How to remove the Stalkwares
As mentioned above, by design, spyware and stalkerware are hard to detect and can be just as hard to remove. However, it is not impossible but may take some drastic steps on your part.
- Run a malware scan: On your device, install a mobile antivirus solution which may be able to detect and remove basic forms of spyware.
- Change all of your passwords: If there are suspicions, change every password on every important account.
- Enable two-factor authentication (2FA), this is a certain type of security where it requires further consent from a mobile device.
- Consider creating a new email address, this could be used as your personal address wherein you are the only person who can access your account.
- Update your OS: updating your OS can help detect and at the same time it will serve as antivirus solutions.
- Factory reset: Performing a factory reset and clean install on the device may help eradicate spyware and stalkerware. But just make sure you remember to back up important content first. On Android platforms, usually found under Settings > General Management > Reset > Factory Data Reset. On iOS, go to Settings > General > Reset.
Unfortunately, not all stalkerware can be removed with factory resets. Your last resort is to change your device entirely and have that upgrade you’ve been wanting ever since.