Top 10 Android Spy Apps – More and more questionable apps are offering their own services for spying and tracking, to secretly spy on strangers, acquaintances or (ex)partners. With a good security app for Android, you can even unmask these sneaky attackers.
The market for Android apps that can secretly track, monitor and spy on devices is constantly growing. The so-called spy stalker apps are in strong demand because they can be used to monitor Android devices such as smartphones or tablets. Trick: Once installed, the monitoring software hides on the device or sometimes disguises itself as a harmless service or game app. These apps on a device have a lot of capabilities because they usually run in administrator mode, so they have the highest permissions on a given device. Those who feel uncertain and under control can help themselves. A good security app identifies a monitoring app for spying or snooping. The lab explored what these security apps are capable of.
Top 10 Android Spy Apps
A total of 18 security apps for Android have tested how well they can detect spyware in a lab. AhnLab, Antiy, Avast, AVG, Avira, Bitdefender, ESET, F-Secure, G DATA, Google, Ikarus, Kaspersky, LINE, McAfee, NortonLifeLock, Protected.Net, securiON and Trend Micro applications were included in the competition.
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In the test, candidates had to find stalker programs 29 times. Most of the apps did it well. All 29 or 28 intrusive apps were detected by Antiy, Bitdefender, Trend Micro, as well as ESET and Kaspersky security apps. Next are F-Secure and G Data with a detection rate of 93.1%.
In the rest of the field, 89.7 percent to 58.6 percent found stalkerware and spyware apps. Android’s internal Google Play Protect security app reports only 31 percent of these tools are actually banned.
FYI: Security tools also detect other categories of stalker software, such as PUAs (potentially unwanted applications), malware, malware, or simply infection.
Many security apps tested revealed hidden stalkerware that spies on users
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Each app had to detect up to 29 spyware detector apps – only 3 apps managed to do this successfully, but another 4 apps fell behind with up to two detection errors.
The use of manuals for this classification is naturally prohibited. But that’s exactly where the problem lies: Who classifies an intrusive app as stalkerware? Unfortunately, there is no official arbiter on this. National data security laws around the world partially classify what is and isn’t allowed. Manufacturers of security applications are also partially guided by these laws and criteria. Developer A defines the app as stalkerware because it has classified it as such. Manufacturer B does not classify the software as highly dangerous, so it leaves the application alone. To shed some light on the whole topic is the Anti-Stalkerware Coalition. This anti-spyware coalition is supported by many leading organizations as well as several security manufacturers such as Avast, Avira, F-Secure, G Data, Kaspersky and NortonLifeLock. The website explains what stalkerware is, how to find it, and how to remove it. It also lists resources for victims to get help from social services, associations or official agencies in many countries around the world. After all, stalking and cyberstalking is not just spying on a person’s device. Stalkers, acquaintances, partners or ex-partners almost always use the information obtained to psychologically pressure or psychologically abuse the victims. At worst, the victim is pressured to take further dramatic steps.
Legal definitions for waiting vary around the world. Fortunately, the punishments for stalking in Europe have become more severe in the last few years – even in Germany: In June 2021, the law regarding the crime of cyber stalking or digital stalking was expanded and the criminal penalties for this were clearly defined. Attack with stalkerware. It is designed to make court cases against criminals easier.
There are usually early signs that something is wrong with an Android device. Abnormalities include, for example:
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All of these involve slightly more technical terms. If the stalker suddenly has information about the victim and the source cannot be explained, this may also be an indication of spyware.
It is recommended to use a security app to scan your Android device. Tested apps are generally very reliable in detecting spyware. If the search is delegated to a security tool, the search mode should be adjusted to the most sensitive settings. It may take longer, but it will produce the best results. The search should use the highest possible scan setting (usually deep, high, or full). In some apps, the option “Enable PUA/PUP/riskware detection” should also be enabled.
Multiple security apps can be used in parallel on one Android device. It works well and often produces even better results.
The user will be informed of the risk posed by the software identified in the test 100 percent and will receive help on how to remove it
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The app got the job done in no time: it identified 100 percent of the apps in the test as spyware, recommended “stay safe,” and installed the app
While the app found all the stalkerware in the test, it wasn’t quite as forthcoming with the information — at least it uninstalled the software.
The security app found stalkerware 28 out of 29 times, providing a wealth of information about each finding, classifying it, and helping to remove it.
The app detected almost all stalkerware in the test and issued a Privacy Notice, explaining what the attacker was doing and recommending that the app be removed immediately.
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Although the application made minor errors, it classified the detected applications according to the risk factor and helped to remove them.
Anyone who finds spyware on an Android device with a security app should know that the spyware was previously installed directly on their device. This means that someone has direct access to the device and thus knows the unlock mode, as well as possibly codes or passwords. Those who want to face charges as a result of the discovery must keep the device and the stalker software as evidence. In extreme cases, experts recommend using another smartphone with a new number. Security software should also be installed using all available technical security features of the device: e.g. screen lock pattern, PIN codes, fingerprint scanner or facial recognition. It is also recommended to change passwords for accounts and social networks, as they may be known to a partner or ex-partner.
Those who need an Android device but don’t require any proof can factory reset the device. After that, the device should be completely blank and reinstalled. But beware of existing SD cards – they may still have something hidden on them. Therefore, it is always wise to format SD cards first and then factory reset the device.
ESET also reviewed what constitutes stalkerware in May 2021 and listed potential privacy intrusions. More than half of the 18 stalker apps tested committed security or privacy violations, as well as 10 to 20 violations of GDPR or the EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
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For those who want to protect themselves from these banned tools or expose installed stalkerware, we recommend using the best security apps from our quick test. Some of the rated apps are free; best apps, e.g. Bitdefender, Trend Micro, ESET and Kaspersky require a small license fee. However, even these applications can usually be used for free for a trial period during the first 14 days. And if they immediately unmask some stalkerware, they’re not worth the investment.
Anyone with a little technical knowledge of their smartphone can do a self-test to see if spyware is lurking on their device.
The commands vary between devices, but most of them are similar. Many smartphones also offer a search function in the settings menu that will lead to the correct setting.
We’d love to get in touch with you! Now there’s an easy way to get regular updates on the latest news and test releases. Spyware can be used to monitor people using services that are considered “pre-criminal”. Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
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According to a new report from cloud security firm Lookout, cybersecurity researchers have discovered a spying campaign targeting Uyghurs by “disguising” Android applications, including messaging services, prayer time apps and dictionaries.
The spyware, which researchers believe is linked to a Chinese government-backed hacking group, could be used to track people who use services that are considered “pre-criminal” or that indicate China is or will be dealing with someone. to engage in religious-extremist or separatist activities. “Pre-criminal” activities include using a virtual private network (VPN) or sharing any religious content and can lead to detention in a re-education camp.
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