The increasing use of mobile phones motivated hackers to develop new hacking tools that will help them invade users’ privacy and cultivate data faster. Malware is the most common form of attack hackers use to steal user information. One easily installed and used form of malware is installing a keylogger on an android phone.
In this article, we will learn together the meaning of a keylogger and an android keylogger, as well as the different signs to look for if you suspect there’s a keylogger on your android device. Lastly, we will learn how to detect and get rid of an android keylogger.
What is a Keylogger? And how does it work?
A keylogger is a malware designed to record the strokes of keys on the keyboard of the targeted device. When the attacker installs a keylogger on the victim’s device, the keylogger records such strokes and sends this saved data back to the attacker. Through this information, the attacker can identify patterns that make up passwords or login credentials, such as credit card information or account passwords.
The process of recording the strokes on the keyboard is called Keylogging, while the tool the person uses to restore the recorded data is called a Keylogger —sometimes a Keystroke Recorder—.
Generally, a person with a keylogger on their device is unaware of such an uninvited guest. For this reason, keyloggers can have a legitimate purpose; when parents can use them to keep track of their children’s activity online, they can even set certain alert words such as “drugs” or “alcohol” and get notifications if they appear. Another case is when employers use Keylogging to record their employees’ activity on the business network.
What is an Android Keylogger?
An Android keylogger is malicious software that runs in the background of your android device and keeps track of your strokes on your device’s keyboard. Frequently, the software sends the collected data to the hacker so he can extract credit card numbers, login credentials, and passwords.
Signs There’s a Keylogger on Your Android Phone
If you’re a parent using a keylogger to make sure your children are using the internet safely, that’s completely acceptable. However, if a scammer was able to install such an application on your phone, there are several signs you can look for to detect the malicious software.
Unfathomable Text Messages
A hacker will use either code or a link to install a keylogger on your phone. Oftentimes, if you keep getting strange text messages and notifications on your phone, then it’s a sign a keylogger is installed. If you receive a strange message from an unknown number, especially if it contains a link, immediately delete the message without opening it.
The Battery Drains Faster than Usual
If you perform battery-draining activities on your phone, the battery should remain for longer times when you don’t perform such activities or use such programs. A keylogging software will continue to run in the background all the time, which will drain your battery faster, even if you’re not using any programs.
The Device Heats Up Faster than Usual
Developers work on extending the longevity of mobile phone batteries to give users a better experience without the risk of overheating. It’s normal for your device’s battery to heat up when you’re using several applications simultaneously, such as watching videos, running photo editing programs, and texting. When you close all these programs, your phone’s heat must lower; if it doesn’t, then it’s time to consider that your phone has keylogging software.
The Devices Operates Slower than Usual
If the past signs weren’t enough, this one is a definite telltale that you have a keylogger on your phone. Too many operations in the background of your device will cause it to operate and respond much slower to your commands. If you suspect you have too many applications installed on your device, you can start eliminating the applications you don’t necessarily need. However, if the device remains slow, then you have a keylogger.
Mobile phones are well-designed and developed by software developers and operate mainly following the owner’s commands only. For this reason, if you suddenly find that your phone turns on and off on its own, without a command from your side, then someone else might be controlling it, such as a hacker. Such sudden activity will be the result of a keylogger gathering information from your device, which interferes with the phone’s default login to respond only to the owner.
How to Detect and Remove a Keylogger from Your Android Phone?
Detecting keylogging software on your phone is not as hard as it sounds. Here are some steps you can take to detect and remove a keylogger from your android phone if it exists.
1. Check Downloads
A keylogger is a downloadable application, which means it must exist in a directory on your phone. The easiest place to look is the Downloads folder on your phone. The name of the software will most likely consist of strange characters and will be an APK file extension. This is also the reason to install software from trusted sources only because the extensions of all installed files will be APK.
2. Antivirus is a Must
We mostly think of antivirus software for our computers and laptops but not for our mobile devices, which isn’t a safe approach to technology. Many mobile phone developers add antivirus software as a default program on the phone, which is very easy to use. If you feel the default software doesn’t provide enough protection, you can another software installed and run a security scan to check for malicious programs.
3. Device Reset
If you feel overwhelmed by the previous steps, you can always back up your data, reset your phone, and restore the default settings. This will help you get rid of any prying and undesirable software on your phone; then, you can start all new afterwards. Again, make sure to back up all the important data you have before attempting this solution.
The tools hackers use will continue to develop. This is why it’s imperative to know how to protect yourself from these tools, especially if the steps are as easy as detecting a keylogger on your phone.