There are a lot of legitimate reasons to use a spy app on other people. There are usually three use cases for spy apps. You use them to track your phone, use them to track your kid’s phone, or use them to track your employee’s phone. We don’t condone the use of such apps in a malicious way and you should never use spy apps unless you have the consent of the other individual. You also may want to look up applicable laws to make sure you’re not breaking any. In other words, please use these responsibly and we’re not responsible for any wrongdoing. Anyway, here are the best spy apps for Android!
Price: $8.33 per month
mSpy is an app built around the idea that knowing is always better than hoping. Loaded with features, it gives you a clear picture of the user’s digital world. With advanced GPS tracking, you’ll know where they are at all times. With detailed call monitoring, you’ll know who they’re calling and who’s calling them. And with social media monitoring — including Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Snapchat — you’ll know what they’re saying and who they’re saying it to. Just install mSpy on a target device and you’ll have advanced spying metrics at your fingertips, plus all the insight you need to make informed decisions.
Price: Free / $5-$43 per year
Cerberus is a phone tracker app for personal use. It helps you find a lost or stolen smartphone and it has a bunch of additional features. They include taking photos of the potential thief, SMS commands, finding the phone on a map, and you can lock and wipe your data. It won’t help you track other people’s devices, but you can totally spy on whoever stole yours. The subscription service starts at a very reasonable $5 per year for a single device and scales up from there.
Price: Free trial / $99-$199 per 3 months
FlexiSpy one of a few more powerful spy apps on Android. It lets you do the kinds of things people might be afraid of, including turning on the microphone to listen to a device’s surroundings, monitoring chat apps, remote camera capture, keylogging, and the ability to completely hide itself from antivirus apps and the app drawer. The price is way up there and you can’t get this app in the Play Store, but it has a ton of features.
Google Family Link
Google Family Link is an app for parents. It keeps track of kids through your Google account. The app lets you view activity on the child device, manage apps, and even recommend apps. You can also set device limits and lock the device if necessary. Some people ran into connectivity issues and bugs, but by and large the experience should work fine for most people. It’s a decent free option.
Find My Device by Google
Google’s Find My Device app is probably the best lost or stolen phone app. You can quickly see your phone on a map for its exact location. Additionally, you can wipe the phone, ring it, or secure (lock) the device at will. You can’t take pictures or anything like you can with Cerberus. However, it’s a straightforward and simple method for keeping track of where your phone is at all times.
Prey Anti Theft
Prey Anti Theft is another find-my-device style app. This one is entirely free and has some decent features. They include the usual array of find-my-phone features like GPS tracking, phone locking, and sending alarms through the phone. However, Prey can also take pictures with the camera, identify nearby Wi-Fi hotspots, and it keeps track of things like the device’s MAC address. That’s not a bad set of features.
Spyera is one of the most intense spy apps for Android. It boasts simple features for people like parents. However, we can’t imagine a use case where something this intense is necessary outside of enterprise use. It has a bunch of features, including the ability to hide itself from basically everywhere. It also comes with remote control support, SMS spoofing, and all kinds of other admittedly shady behavior. It’s extremely expensive so we don’t recommend this to normal folks. It’s also not available on Google Play so you have to obtain and sideload the app from its official website.
Carrier family locator apps
Carrier Family Locators are family location services by mobile carriers like T-Mobile and others. These services work about as expected. You can keep track of the phone location of any phone on your plan. They usually feature things like on-demand location, alerts of various types, and it works on most devices. We have T-Mobile’s linked up here, but you can search the Play Store or call your carrier to see if they have a similar service.
OEM Find My Phone
Several phone manufacturers have phone finding services as part of their software experience. One notable example is Samsung. You log in with your Samsung account and you can find your device with its service. It runs parallel with Google’s Find My Device for a potent one-two punch. You can lock (or unlock) your phone, find it on a map, and there are other features as well. It’s worth looking to see if your phone has something like this.
Price: Free / $59.99-$89.99 per year
XNSPY is a bit of a weird case. It has all of those frightening features like monitoring call logs, GPS tracking, monitoring web browsing, access chats, and all kinds of other tracking stuff. However, it goes for less than most of its bigger competitors like FlexiSpy and Spyera. The basic version lets you look at some stuff while the premium version lets you look at everything. This is a good option for businesses or families with some money to spend, but families may want to try Google Family Link or Kiddie Parental Controls before something more powerful like this.
How to check for and remove spy apps
Of course, some of these apps may be on your device without your knowledge and you may want to find out. Unfortunately, with how well these hide, a lot of the usual methods don’t work very well. However, there are a few ways to see if something may be spying on you.
- The app GlassWire lets you monitor data on your device. You can easily see when a spy app sends data back to its host. We recommend this first because spy apps can hide from task managers and antivirus apps, but they can’t hide their own data usage.
- Some antivirus apps may still detect the app if the host didn’t hide it well enough. You can check out our list of the best ones here.
- You can find uninstall guides for most big spy apps. For instance, here’s one for FlexiSpy and here’s one for mSpy.
- As a temporary solution, you can put the phone in Airplane Mode. Spy apps rely on the ability to send data back to the host and it can’t if you’re not connected to any networks.
- If all else fails, you can factory reset the phone. That should wipe out every app aside from the ones pre-installed by the OEM.
Thank you for reading! Try these out too:
If we missed any good spy apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists.
US Says Russian Group DarkSide Behind Oil Pipeline Ransomware Attack
President Joe Biden said Monday that a Russia-based group was behind the ransomware attack that forced the shutdown of the largest oil pipeline in the eastern United States.
The FBI identified the group behind the hack of Colonial Pipeline as DarkSide, a shadowy operation that surfaced last year and attempts to lock up corporate computer systems and force companies to pay to unfreeze them.
“They have some responsibility to deal with this,” he said.
Three days after being forced to halt operations, Colonial said Monday it was moving toward a partial reopening of its 5,500 miles (8,850 kilometres) of pipeline – the largest fuel network between Texas and New York.
At the White House, Deputy National Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall said Biden was being kept updated on the incident, which threatened to crimp supplies of gasoline, diesel fuel, and jet fuel across much of the eastern United States.
Colonial said in a statement that “segments of our pipeline are being brought back online.”
“Colonial has told us that it has not suffered damage and can be brought back online relatively quickly,” Sherwood-Randall said, with no fuel disruptions so far.
The ransomware forced the company to shut down pipeline controls system for safety reasons.
DarkSide began attacking medium and large-sized companies mostly in Western Europe, Canada, and the United States last year, reportedly asking for anywhere from a few hundred thousand dollars to a few million dollars, to be paid in Bitcoin.
In return, DarkSide supplies the company with a program that will unlock the its computing systems.
They also download and retain large amounts of data from the company, threatening to release it publicly if the company does not pay up.
In a statement on their website on the dark net, they rejected allegations that they had any official backing.
“We are apolitical, we do not participate in geopolitics, do not need to tie us with a defined government and look for other our motives,” it said.
“Our goal is to make money, and not creating problems for society. “
Dmitri Alperovitch, one of the foremost cybersecurity experts who cofounded the firm CrowdStrike, said his group believes DarkSide enjoys official protection in Russia.
“A ransomware group we believe is operating (and likely harbored) by Russia has shutdown a company that is moving 45 percent of petroleum supplying the East Coast. Is it a criminal act? Sure,” he tweeted.
He said it also “undoubtedly” has “huge” national security implications, especially in US-Russia relations.
Another cybersecurity expert, Brett Callow of Emsisoft, told NBC News that an indication of the group’s origins is that its software is designed to not work on computers whose default languages are Russian or several other eastern European languages.
“DarkSide doesn’t eat in Russia,” Callow told NBC.
Anne Neuberger, deputy national security adviser for cyber, said most ransomware comes from transnational criminal groups.
Asked if Colonial Pipeline or other companies should pay the ransom, she said the Biden adminstration has not offered advice on that.
“They have to balance the cost-benefit when they have no choice with regard to paying a ransom,” she said. “Typically that is a private sector decision.”
Honor confirms 66W Super Charge on the Honor Play 5
As reported by SeekDevice, Honor took to Weibo to officially announce that its upcoming Play 5 5G smartphone will come equipped with 66W charging. This confirms our own reporting from a tipster last month that also offered leaked renders of the Honor Play 5.
Just yesterday, Honor teased the Play 5 on Weibo where it confirmed the device would launch on May 18. Based on the leaks and confirmed teasers we’ve seen so far, it’s expected that Honor may launch more than one Play 5 variant.
The most recent poster features 5G branding while the other does not, so based on the naming structure of the recent poster above, there may be 5G and LTE variants of the Play 5, each with different camera systems and some spec differences between the two.
First render leak of Honor Play 5 reported by GSMArena
According to previous rumors, the Honor Play 5 will be powered by the Dimensity 800U and sport a 6.53-inch Full HD+ OLED screen. The quad cameras are rumored to consist of a main 64MP unit, an 8MP ultrawide, and dual 2MP sensors, each for depth sensing and macro shots. We’re also expecting to see an in-display fingerprint scanner, and a battery capacity of 3,800 mAh. As of right now, we’re not sure whether these specs reflect one or more than one Honor Play 5 variant.
Facebook CEO Asked to Cancel Plans for Instagram for Younger Kids
A group of 40 state attorneys general on Monday urged Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg to abandon plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13.
“Use of social media can be detrimental to the health and well-being of children, who are not equipped to navigate the challenges of having a social media account,” the officials said in a letter.
“Further, Facebook has historically failed to protect the welfare of children on its platforms,” they said.
The letter also signed by the attorneys general of the District of Columbia and three US territories.
A Facebook spokesman said the company has “just started exploring a version of Instagram for kids” and said it was committing “to not showing ads in any Instagram experience we develop for people under the age of 13”.
The company said it agreed any version of the photo-sharing app Instagram “must prioritise their safety and privacy, and we will consult with experts in child development, child safety and mental health, and privacy advocates to inform it”.
The bipartisan letter, which was signed by the attorneys general of New York, Texas, California, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio, Utah, Vermont, Kentucky, and others said “it appears that Facebook is not responding to a need, but instead creating one”.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said on Twitter that a children’s Instagram “is a shameful attempt to exploit and profit off vulnerable people”.
The letter said media reports from 2019 showed that Facebook’s Messenger Kids app, intended for kids between the ages of six and 12, “contained a significant design flaw that allowed children to circumvent restrictions on online interactions and join group chats with strangers that were not previously approved by the children’s parents”.
Last month, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood also called on Zuckerberg not to create a kids version, saying it would put them at “great risk.”
© Thomson Reuters 2021
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