Useful Tips

How to find hidden applications on Android and why they are dangerous


Let me tell you how you can find and check Android for spyware. This is listening to conversations, reading letters, tracking location and other “trojans” and “worms”.

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This article is suitable for all brands producing Android 9/8/7/6 phones: Samsung, HTC, Lenovo, LG, Sony, ZTE, Huawei, Meizu, Fly, Alcatel, Xiaomi, Nokia and others. We are not responsible for your actions.

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Attention! You can ask your question to the specialist at the end of the article.

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Tracking Spy

You may have information that someone else wants to get. If a person works in business, then this can be data on the development of new products, sales strategies, etc.

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If you gave your Android phone for repair, then for some reason they may install a spy app to track your location via GPS or copy data. There is a large and prosperous industry whose main purpose is to spy on other people using spyware. But no matter how smart the spyware program is, there are ways to determine it on a tablet or Android smartphone.

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Unusual sounds when calling

If during a conversation there are distant voices or clicks (or pieces of someone else's voices) that pass through your phone, then this is a sign that they are listening to you. For today's phones, this is not normal. Similar problems with old analog networks are a thing of the past.

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Reduced battery capacity

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Another sign of a faulty mobile phone is a decrease in battery performance. If the phone is tapped, it records your actions and transfers them to a third party.

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Such operations leave a mark in the form of excessive use of battery power. As a result, the battery runs out faster. The phone can still record conversations in the room, even if it is in standby mode.

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All this leads to a fast discharge of the battery. The test is carried out by using your battery in another phone of the same model, and then you just need to compare the results.

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The phone shows activity when not in use

Does your gadget make a noise or does the screen start when not in use? Calls and alerts about messages should be quiet when the device is not in use. Does your phone reboot without any reason? Then someone can have remote access to this gadget.

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It takes a long time for the phone to disconnect

Before shutting down, the smartphone must close all applications that it processes. If the gadget transfers information to another device, it will take more time to complete this or that process. If the phone takes longer to disconnect than usual, especially after SMS, calling, browsing the web or e-mail, it probably sends information to a third party.

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High battery temperature

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For some time, do not use your smartphone actively and do not play games. After that, the device must be touched from the battery side. If you feel warm, it is likely that the gadget is secretly used to transmit information. But this is not a clear sign of surveillance.

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Receive unusual messages

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Are you getting weird text messages that contain random characters and numbers? The remote control function of various spyware programs requires sending secret text messages to your phone.

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In some situations, this can be seen, especially when the gadget software does not work properly. If this happens regularly, then the spy app can be installed on the phone.

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Increase the amount of information used

Less reliable spyware programs use additional options to send data collected from your Android device. Therefore, you should pay attention to any inexplicable increases in monthly data usage.

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In more advanced spyware applications, the number of data used has been significantly reduced, so it is almost impossible to detect them. Older programs, due to the large increase in monthly traffic, can still be determined.

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Android spyware

You can find spyware on Android in your smartphone’s files. To do this, follow these steps:

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  • Open "Settings", select "Applications".
  • Then click on “Launch Services” or “Application Management”.
  • We are looking for suspicious files.

Good spyware often disguises file names so that they do not stand out. In some cases, the names may contain the following terms: stealth, monitor, spy, etc. Some less advanced programs are now very easy to spot.

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No need to worry if you find evidence of spyware on your gadget. Files unknown to you should not be deleted. If suspicious software is detected, it is recommended that the device be taken to a service center by a specialist.

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Reset to factory settings

If Android is reset to factory settings, this operation will remove any spyware. The user should back up the data: music, photos, contacts. If you do this, you will still need an effective access code to prevent unauthorized access to your gadget in the future.

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For Android gadgets, there is the AppNotifier application, which sends an email notification to the user that programs have been downloaded to the device. The utility warns if someone wants to perform an operation that should not be performed.

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Privacy App

The Privacy App was developed by SnoopWall. The utility is very useful for tablets and smartphones on Android. The software conducts a full audit of the gadget and compiles a list with all suspicious and potentially dangerous programs.

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For example, why does the Brightest Flashlight flashlight program use the user's geographic coordinates? What is the given information for him? In the United States, the Federation of Trade Commission program developer was punished for such activities.

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For all the time spyware flashlight installed more than 50 million Android users. The developer not only collected almost in real time the coordinates of users, but also sold information to advertising networks and other customers.

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Some other programs for Android secretly carry out similar malicious activities, but they can look quite worthy. Privacy App identifies these spies. It demonstrates which applications have access to the following systems:

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  • Microphone.
  • NFC
  • Wi-fi
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth
  • Video camera.
  • Other sensors.

Now we can conclude about which programs have many "extra" powers.

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The developers of the Privacy App conducted tests with 90 thousand applications from the Google Play catalog and compiled a database of "risky" programs. The development and testing process took 14 months. Such tests showed that at least 20% of the Google Play directory requests permission to access data that they really do not need to provide basic functions.

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Some programs collect passwords entered while running in the background. Other software photographs the user without turning on the flash.

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Another functionality of the Privacy App allows you to calculate the "privacy index", which displays the overall security of all installed programs. The utility gives a security assessment to financial mobile applications and removes spyware.

Applications that can hide or change desktop icons

So, there are a number of applications originally designed to protect personal data - messages, contacts, folders with specific content, etc. For example, ZERO Communication, KeepSafe, AppLock, Hide It Pro and others.

Their functionality varies, but almost all of them can hide certain folders or replace their icon with any other - for example, similar to a regular application like a calculator or scheduler. If you try to open the application from the desktop, under which the folder is hidden, most likely the system will ask for a PIN code, if entered incorrectly, an empty folder will be displayed on the screen. The most advanced applications allow you not to ask for a password, but simply to launch the desired program - so the user will not even guess that if you perform additional actions, the same icon can open a protected folder.

All these features can be extremely useful in a situation where the phone is lost and is not protected by a PIN code or graphic key - the person who has found your device simply will not be able to access personal data, even if it tries. But this functionality also has a flip side - as a rule, teenagers use these applications for their own purposes, which their parents monitor too closely so that they can keep secret (from their point of view) information practically in sight, but in fact it won’t be access.

Other ways to hide applications on Andro> There are standard methods for Android to hide the application on the Android system - not as well thought out as in specialized programs, but for the convenience of using the device they are enough.

For example, if the list of applications lists everything that is in the system, including incomprehensible Android services, you can edit it to see only the necessary programs. Most of these services cannot be deleted, since they are either important for the correct operation of the entire device, or are preinstalled and registered in the firmware (a vivid example is Google services, most of which no one uses).

So, how to hide the "extra" applications in Android (using the example of a system whose desktop is controlled by the Apex Launcher application):

  1. Select a blank spot on the screen and double-click on it to open the Apex menu
  2. Find the “Hidden applications” item. If it is not in the list, try going to the "Application menu settings" and find the desired section there
  3. In the window that opens, it will most likely be empty, and the “Hide applications” button will appear at the bottom - click on it
  4. Now check off the applications that you would not like to see in the system lists and click “Hide applications”
    There are several ways to find hidden applications:

Method 1: standard settings

  1. Open Device Settings
  2. Go to "Applications"
  3. Switch to the "All" tab. If there are no tabs, but try opening the menu in the upper right corner of the screen and looking for sections there that have “Hidden” in their names or something similar.

On older systems (version 5 and below), it is necessary to swipe the display from right to left 2 times to display all applications, including hidden ones.

Method 2: via the desktop application (e.g. Apex)

  1. Open the application panel (usually it is called by pressing the central button of the device)
  2. Find the icon with six or more dots at the bottom of the screen and click on it.
    Almost any application installed from an unreliable source can be dangerous for the device, so it is recommended to use trusted services like Google Play. The application itself is unlikely to automatically be added to the hidden list, so if you suspect that the phone is being attacked through any program, it is better to check it with an antivirus.

Applications that can hide other programs and folders were listed earlier - this is not a complete list, so if an application that you did not install appeared on the system, stop it and look for information about it in the search engines.

How to open hidden applications

  1. Open Calculator Vault and hold the icon of the desired application.
  2. In the menu that appears, select "Remove from List" and click "OK."

  • The application will be returned to the menu and you will be able to launch it. After use, the application can be hidden as described above.
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