Technological advancements from time immemorial have reiterated one goal – convenience. This mantra is shown with the development of smartphones. Now, there’s no need to do anything too extra to reach out to your friends and family. No matter where they’re located, you can connect to them by tapping a button.
However, since the Internet and the advent of smartphones have instrumental benefits to humanity, there are still some negatives in the background. With hackers stepping up to meet technology’s sophistication, newer ways to remotely enter a person’s device have been discovered.
One of the many methods? Installing a keylogger on the target’s device. With this software on your cell phone, your financial details, photos, images, text messages, and everything else on your device becomes accessible. According to a recent study, IT security entities have recorded an increase in keylogger usage by hackers.
Most times, cybercriminals perpetrate this activity without the user having a clue of what’s going on. So, if we’ve triggered your security senses with these few lines, it might be time to check for a keylogger on your Android or iOS device.
How do you do this? While there are so many guides online, we’ll be giving a more encompassing variation with this article. Let’s get started!
5 Signs Your Phone Has a Keylogger
Before we get into the signs, it’s essential to understand what a keylogger does. In succinct terms, a keylogger is software that allows a hacker to view what’s taking place on the target’s device.
As you type on your keyboard, this software logs every keystroke. Although keyloggers are tagged as malware, they’re not. However, they can have negative repercussions if the hacker sells your details to unlicensed third-party entities.
To avoid situations of this nature, knowing how to find a keylogger is vital. Thus, we’ve crafted out some signs that point towards a keylogger on your mobile device. They include:
Your Phone Gets Hot
So, let’s say you’re using your phone to scroll through social media feeds, and all of a sudden, it becomes heating up. Well, this could be a tell-tale sign of a keylogger “logged” in your device.
While this might not stem from a keylogger as weather conditions can affect mobile device temperatures, it should be a significant cause of concern when it occurs regularly.
Before we purchase mobile devices, much thought is put into the battery capacity. Therefore, after you’ve used your device for a while, you’ll know what battery backup a full charge gets you.
However, if you spot irregular patterns of your phone getting drained for no reason, there could be a keylogger lurking “behind the scenes.” Pay attention to your gut feeling and ignite your inner “Inspector Gadget.”
Strange Background Sounds
Your phone should only make background sounds on select occasions (songs, movies, & other notification sounds). However, if you notice a strange tune when your phone is inactive, you should be concerned.
Most times, you might not get to hear these sounds as they’re shallow. Regardless, when you notice something this strange, it’s vital to check things out.
Your Phone Malfunctions
When a keylogger is in session on a target’s device, it can be the root cause of malfunctions like:
- Flickering screens.
- Your phone is refusing to turn off even when you’ve shut it down.
- Screen freeze. When this happens, you can’t scroll or tap any icon.
- Applications are running without your authorization.
While your phone can act this way when it’s becoming old, you should be concerned if there’s nothing wrong (hardware or software-wise) with your device.
Unsolicited Text Messages
Getting unsolicited text messages isn’t a new development, as network providers regularly send them. However, seeing messages with weird icons and symbols can prove disenchanting.
Although this might be a coding error, receiving strange messages frequently might indicate a keylogger running in the background.
Measures to Take After You Find a Keylogger on Your Phone
Getting acclimated with the fact that someone, somewhere, is monitoring your activities can be rather unsettling. That said, now’s not the time to dwell on it as it’s up to you to take measures to ensure that it never happens again. Notable mentions include:
Go Through Your Download Folder
If you find that a keylogger has been installed on your device, it’s essential to go through your “download” folder, as it can appear as a generic “APK” file.
Although APKs are part and parcel of smartphone devices, you might want to delete any APK file you don’t remember installing. It could probably be the dreaded “keylogger.”
Download a Reputable Antivirus Software
With many antivirus software claiming to be the best, it’s essential to engage an alternative that has received good reviews. Upon installation, this antivirus will basically “quarantine” your entire device and clear keyloggers in the mix.
However, using an antivirus shouldn’t be a “one-off” activity, as running regular scans is a must to delete malware sure to crop up as time goes on.
Reset Your Phone to the Factory Default
Some keyloggers can prove daunting to remove. If nothing else works, it might be time to factory reset your mobile device.
Since you’ll be formatting your entire phone, it’s crucial to back up essential files before engaging in this activity. For the backed-up files, run an antivirus scan to ensure no malicious data is in the mix.
Once you’ve done all this, you’re good to go!
How to Remove a Keylogger From Your Phone?
In addition to the steps mentioned previously, let’s see some other ways you can remove a keylogger from your phone. They include:
Update Your Device
With Google and Apple making security the theme for their updates, Android & iOS devices can get rid of a keylogging app during an update. So, if you’ve not been a fan of software updates before, it might be time to install all pending updates.
That way, you’re sure of successfully removing a keylogger from your device.
Use 2FA Authentication
In scenarios whereby you’d like to remove keylogging activities on your phone, engaging the 2FA (2-Factor Authentication) feature on your device is vital.
Once it’s active, keyloggers are useless, as hackers monitoring your keystrokes can’t access your accounts. In conjunction with the first, this step is crucial to eliminating any trace of a keylogger on your device.
How to Protect Myself From a Keylogger?
A stitch in time saves nine. Consequently, you don’t have to wait until hackers monitor your device with a keylogger before you guard yourself against these malicious attacks. So, what do you do? Let’s find out quickly.
First off, avoid links or attachments that seem dodgy after a first glance. Although hackers have perfected their skills to create sites that look legit on the outside, you can still nullify this threat by confirming the source from the sender. If it isn’t genuine, it’s better to steer clear.
Also, ensure that your passwords on social media and other platforms are distinct. If you find it challenging to create different passwords when creating accounts, a service like “Google Password Generator” on Google Chrome is available to foster convenience.
That said, as a rule of thumb, protect your phone with antivirus software. Whether you’re an Android or iOS user, this addition is vital to limit breaches to the barest minimum.
While you’ve probably been searching for “how to know if you have a keylogger” articles on Google, we’ve simplified this guide to make things easy for you. Now that you’ve found out how to spot a keylogger on your device, scammers would rue their losses, as access to you is practically impossible.
However, things can change quickly as hackers craft out newer ways to monitor you and your data. Consequently, protect yourself from these threats by employing the pointers above.