Thanks to spyware, cybercriminals may be watching your every step including seeing all of your personal messages, files, and banking information. Don’t worry! We are going to break down exactly how to get rid of spyware on Android, iOS, and other devices.

What is Spyware?

Spyware is malicious software that hides in your device, records your data and activity, and then sends it to a 3rd party. Cybercriminals use spyware to gather the information that can be used for blackmailing such as sensitive photos and files as well as access payment details which they can use to raid your accounts. 

Spyware has been found on all devices including PCs, tablets, laptops, and iOS and Android phones. Due to the pervasiveness of this software, it is estimated to cost the global economy billions and billions of dollars every year. To ensure you don’t have to deal with the consequences of an infection, we are going to show you how to detect spyware on your computer or phone and how to remove spyware from your phone or computer.

What Are the Most Common Types of Spyware?

While the goal of all spyware is to collect your data, there are certain types of software that focus on gathering particular information. Check out the most pervasive forms of spyware below:

  • Keyloggers – This spyware records everytime you touch your keyboard. This software is designed to capture your login details, passwords and banking information. 
  • Banking trojans – These trojans try to trick you into entering your login credentials to fake sites, this software can even alter transactions and circumvent them to ensure they end up in the criminals’ accounts rather than the correct account. 
  • Info stealers – This spyware can quickly scan your device and collect sensitive information including emails, payment details and usernames.
  • Mobile spyware – Mobile spyware has the capability of tracking your physical location via GPS coordinates and can even access files on your phone. 
  • Sound recording and video spyware – This spyware can take control of your camera and speakers and not only record you but listen in on your conversations. 
  • Cookie trackers – Cookie trackers collect your personal data and send it to 3rd party advertisers.

All of the above-mentioned spyware are incredibly common and have the potential to cause you serious financial and emotional stress. If you even think there is a slight chance that your device is infected you should keep reading our guide to learn how to locate spyware on Android, iOS, and other devices.

How Do You Get Spyware?

There are two main ways that spyware gets onto your device:

  • A person takes control of your device and installs it

While this may seem like something out of a James Bond film, it is actually way more common than you think. To combat people physically infecting your device you should choose a strong password, not leave your device unlocked, and if you are using iOS enable 2fa for your Apple ID.

  • You accidentally download spyware

The most common way people end up getting spyware on their devices is by unknowingly downloading it. Spyware is often hidden in legitimate apps and programs such as games and tools. Spyware also gets on people’s devices via phishing scams where cybercriminals try to convince you to click on links that trigger the download of the software.

Even if you have accidentally been infected with spyware or you suspect someone has installed it on your device we are now going to show you how to remove spyware from any phone or computer!

How to Detect Spyware on Android and iPhone?

Spyware does an amazing job of operating in stealth mode which means it can be tricky to detect. However, if you notice any of these signs there is a good chance your device is infected: 

  • Reduced speed and frequent crashes –  If you notice your phone is taking longer to open apps and your device randomly freezes and crashes you may have spyware.
  • The battery runs out quickly –  Spyware uses up a lot of battery so if you notice all of sudden your battery starts draining it could be because of an infection.
  • The appearance of new unexplained apps – If you spot strange apps on your homepage or you are being bombarded with strange pop-ups then malicious software could be to blame.
  • Device frequently overheats – As spyware places immense stress on your device it can often lead to it overheating.

While the above signs don’t guarantee that your Android or iPhone is infected with spyware if they occur all of a sudden and your device has multiple symptoms then malicious is likely the cause.

How to Remove Spyware From iPhone and Android?

If you think there is even a slight chance you have a spyware infection you should follow our step-by-step guide on how to get rid of spyware on Android and iPhone. Trust us you don’t want cybercriminals accessing all of your personal details and getting a hold of your payment details! Luckily there are 3 highly effective proven ways to rid your device of spyware. Plus, they don’t require iPhone jailbreaking or rooting. Check them out below:

Install a Spyware Removal Tool

The most effective way to rid your device of infections is to download an app to remove spyware. With an anti-spyware app, you can sit back and relax as the app quickly scans your device, identifies infections, and instantly neutralizes them. There is a range of different spyware removal tools which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and the App Store. 

The top-rated spyware removal tools include Kaspersky, McAfee, and Bitdefender. With these apps, you can run extensive scans in just a few minutes and then automatically remove any malicious software. Start your free trial and ensure your device is spyware-free today!

Update Software and Remove Suspicious Apps

While this cell phone spyware detection and removal technique are not as effective as using anti-spyware software, it can still work. 

To update your Android software, follow these steps:

  1. Open your phone’s Settings
  2. Navigate to the bottom, click System and System update
  3. Click install and follow instructions

To update your iOS software, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Settings app icon
  2. Select General
  3. Click Software Update
  4. Click Download, Install, Enter your password and Accept T&Cs

Android and iOS are always looking for ways to improve their security and upgrade their software. Many spyware is taking advantage of specific flaws in Android and iOS so when you update your software these flaws are often fixed and the spyware is rendered useless.

To remove suspicious apps from your Android follow these steps:

  • Press and hold on the suspicious app
  • Click and drag the app to the top of your screen to the Uninstall icon
  • Once it turns red, release the app and it will delete

To remove suspicious apps from your iPhone follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold on the suspicious app 
  2. Click remove the app from the pop-up menu
  3. Confirm by clicking delete app

Often these new apps that appear on your phone are infected with spyware. Sometimes you can completely disinfect your phone and remove the spyware infection by simply deleting these suspicious apps.

Perform a Factory Reset

As a last resort, you may have to undertake a factory reset. A factory reset will completely wipe your phone clean and all spyware will vanish. If you are going to use this method you should back up everything on your device such as apps, photos, and videos otherwise the data will be lost.

Follow these steps to perform a factory reset on an Android:

  1. Open Settings, click System and then Reset options
  2. Click Factory data reset or Erase all data 
  3. Confirm by selecting the Reset device
  4. Enter your password
  5. Wait while your Android wipes everything and restarts
  6. Your Android will turn back on and ask if you want to start clean or restore from a backup, only select a backup from a time before your device became infected with spyware
how to remove spyware on android factory data reset

Follow these steps to perform a factory reset on an iPhone:

  1. Tap the Settings icon
  2. Click General
  3. Scroll to the bottom and tap Reset
  4. Choose “Erase All Content and Settings”, and hit the confirm button

We only recommend you perform a factory reset if the other options do not work as it is time-consuming and annoying to wipe and restore your phone.

How to Detect Spyware on a Computer?

Every year spyware and phone tracking software becomes more complex and does an even better job of staying hidden. If you notice any of the following symptoms your computer may be dealing with a spyware infection:

  • Frequent crashes and reduced speed
  • Increase in pop-ups and invasive ads
  • The appearance of new search engines and other tools that you did not download
  • Battery life significantly decreasing
  • Unexplained surges in data bandwidth use
  • Anti-virus not responding

If you keep an eye out for the above-mentioned symptoms you should have no problem figuring out how to detect spyware on Windows 10 and other PC operating systems. 

How to Remove Spyware From a Computer?

To get rid of spyware from your computer, you have two options: use an antivirus with spyware removal capabilities or delete the malicious software manually. Typically, it is much faster and easier to just use an anti-spyware removal tool. 

Use Anti-Spyware Software

There are dedicated anti-spyware software programs that will quickly scan your computer and automatically detect even the most hidden spyware. These software programs will then completely remove the spyware and your computer will be back to normal. The most effective anti-spyware programs include Bitdefender, Kaspersky, and McAfee.

To use an antivirus simply head to the provider’s official site, download the software and start your free trial. After installing the software run a smart scan which will quickly determine if your computer is infected with viruses, malware, and spyware.

After the smart scan is completed if your antivirus has detected any spyware it will automatically remove it. If your computer is still having some issues you can run a full system scan which will examine all aspects of your computer and remove even the most resilient spyware. You can download an antivirus, run a scan and remove all spyware in just a few minutes!

Manually Remove Spyware

Removing spyware by yourself can be a little tricky and is time-consuming. However, it is possible if you follow these steps:

  1. Disconnect from the internet. Spyware relies on your internet connection to gather your data and send it to a 3rd party. 
  2. Restart your computer’s Safe Mode. To enter Safe Mode hold down the Windows key and press R to open Run. 
  3. Type “msconfig” and select OK.
  4. Select the Boot tab. Click Safe boot. 
  5. Click OK, and then choose Restart.
  6. Once your computer restarts it will be in Safe Mode. To double-check you are running in Safe Mode you should see Safe Mode on the corners of a black background. 
  7. Now you are in Safe Mode you can start attacking the spyware. Open temporary files by selecting Start and typing %temp% into the search box.
  8. Delete everything in your temporary files by clicking Organize, Select All and Delete.
  9. Right-click on your Recycle Bin on your desktop, click Empty Recycle Bin, then click Yes to confirm.
  10. After getting rid of your temporary files you can start attacking the spyware. Open the Control Panel from your Start menu and select Programs and Features.
  11. Now there will be a list of every program on your device. Filter by install date and pay close attention to recently installed software.
  12. Study the list closely and if you see any programs you don’t remember installing, research them. Once you have identified the spyware to remove it choose the program and click uninstall.
  13. After you have finished removing the spyware to exit Safe Mode, open msconfig, uncheck the Safe boot box and click restart.
how to remove spyware from computer

As you can see the process of removing spyware from your computer manually is time-consuming and there are a lot of steps involved. It is much simpler to just download an anti-spyware tool and perform the above steps automatically.

How to Prevent Getting Spyware on Your Phone or Computer?

If you want to keep your device safe and secure and prevent any future spyware infections then follow these simple tips:

  • Always update your phone and computer with the latest software – Many spyware simply won’t work on updated Android or iOS software. 
  • Use powerful passwords and change them frequently and make sure your device is screen locked – This will reduce the chance of someone physically getting access to your device.
  • Do not jailbreak your device – Jailbroken devices are much more susceptible to spyware infections.
  • Avoid connecting to public wi-fi and if you do make sure you protect your device by implementing a VPN. 
  • Be very careful who you allow to access your phone – Spyware often masquerades as a normal app but then attempts to access your microphone, camera, phone, or personal data. 
  • Do not open shady websites and never click on suspicious attachments or links – Attachments and links often trigger a spyware download.
  • Download top-rated anti-virus software which can detect and neutralize spyware in real-time. 

By following these easy tips you should be able to radically reduce your chance of suffering a spyware infection!

Can Someone Install Spyware on My Computer?

One of the most common ways people get spyware on their computer is from someone physically installing it. This is why it is important to select a strong password and not to leave your computer unlocked.

How Can You Tell if There Is Spyware on Your Kids’ Computer?

You can tell if there is spyware on your computer if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Unusual programs
  • Battery draining quickly
  • Computer is slow and crashing 
  • Overheating

Is Spyware Easy to Remove?

Spyware is easy to remove if you use antivirus software that has an effective spyware removal tool. Antiviruses can scan your device in minutes and instantly remove even advanced spyware.

How Do I Remove Spyware From My Child’s Computer for Free?

The best way to remove spyware from your computer for free is to download antivirus software and start a free trial. As it only takes a few minutes to scan your computer and remove spyware the standard 14-day free trial is more than enough time to get rid of spyware for free.

Conclusion

The most effective way to remove spyware from Android, iPhone, or computers is to download specialized anti-spyware software. The top-rated anti-spyware software includes Kaspersky, McAfee, and Bitdefender. With any of these programs, you can fully scan your device in just a few minutes and instantly remove even the most resilient spyware. Spyware is very tricky and can be used to spy on someone’s phone and other devices. Start your free trial now and ensure your device is 100% spyware-free today!

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