I’m going to explain a couple of ways that you can remove cell phone spy software apps and tell you how to protect your phone in future. This is simple enough for anyone to do themselves; you don’t need to be very technical.
I hope you have gone through my article – Is There Spy Software on My Cell Phone. It gives a few tips about how to spot spy software, looking at odd phone behavior amongst other things. If you still suspect that your cell phone is being monitored by spy software – you need to remove it!
Removing Spy Software with a Factory Reset
This is probably the most complete method to remove any spy software from your cell phone. Even if you are not totally sure you are being monitored this will give you some peace of mind.
There are different ways to do this for different types of phone. You can do it yourself, or if you aren’t comfortable, you can simply take your phone to your local supplier and ask them to do a factory reset – most will do this for free.
You can perform a factory reset on all phones including Android, iPhone and BlackBerry.
Backup your phone first!
Doing a factory reset will return your phone to how it was when you first bought it. All your data will be removed as well as any apps or software you have added. You need to backup all of the data you want to keep – contacts, photos music etc. so that you can restore these once the phone has been reset.
You might want to make a note of any apps you have downloaded so that you can re-install these later, although some backup methods can store these.
Once you are backed up, you are ready to reset the phone.
Here are some good guides for performing a factory reset on:
- Android http://droidologist.com/how-to-reset-an-android-phone/
- iPhone http://osxdaily.com/2012/01/17/reset-iphone-factory-settings/
- BlackBerry http://crackberry.com/reset-your-blackberry-factory-reset
These guides are easy to follow and once you go through the process, any trace of the spy software will have been removed. It is a quick and easy way to be sure you are not being monitored.
Remove Spy Software with OS Update
Updating or re-installing the phone firmware or operating system will have a similar effect to doing a factory reset – but is less extreme. It will not remove your apps and data but will remove the spy software.
This works because the spy software apps are specific to the OS on the phone – change the OS and the software is removed and will not work. It is not as complete a solution as the reset but in most cases will still remove the offending software.
How to Remove Cell Phone Spy Software from an iPhone
Removing spy phone software from an iPhone is easy – just update or reinstall the iOS. For any cell spy program to work on the iPhone it must be Jailbroken. Updating the iOS removes the Jailbreak and so removes the spy software from an iPhone.
Cell phone spy software can be removed manually by deleting the software files from the phone. This is only for those who really know what they are doing and I don’t recommend it.
Finding and identifying the actual files can be difficult as they have been deliberately disguised to keep the software hidden. It’s really not worth the risk or effort to attempt this method – deleting the wrong files could really mess up your phone.
Now Protect Your Cell Phone
Once you have successfully removed the spy software from your phone you need to think about securing your phone to stop it happening again. It amazes me how most people don’t use even the most basic methods to protect their phones. Spy apps can be installed in a few minutes – if someone has physical access to your phone.
Here are a few ways to secure your phone:
- Use the Password Lock Feature – All phones come with a password lock feature – set up a good personal code and keep it to yourself!
- Use a Password App – take it a step further and use one of the more advanced security apps. You’ll find free and paid apps to manage secure passwords and automatically lock your phone.
- Install a Security App – there are loads of apps available for all phones which can help to protect your cell phone. Lookout Mobile Security is a good one with free and paid versions for Android and iPhone. It is known to flag up spy software apps.
For most people, simply using a good secure password is more than enough to stop anyone getting into your phone and installing spy software without your knowledge.
That’s about it for now. As always I’ll keep this page updated as new ways to remove and protect your cell phone from spy software come up.
Leave a comment below – what methods have you used or what security apps have you tried?