For better or worse, technology has become a staple in our everyday lives. Stories of spy tech being used to monitor someone’s private behavior is nothing new, but it’s no less controversial than it was when James Bond hit the big screen.
Spy apps — particularly for Android devices — have become more commonplace in recent years. While they raise a lot of eyebrows, these applications can also be used for altruistic means. Here are the benefits of using the best spy apps for Android and everything you need to know about how they work.
What are Spy Apps?
A spy app allows a remote viewer to track and monitor someone’s phone use and behavior. According to NEXSPY, these apps can:
- Read texts
- Read emails
- Monitor call logs
- Record phone calls
- View browser history
- Track keylogging
- Access media files
- Track GPS
Essentially, using a spy app gives you access to everything that happens on someone’s phone. In many cases, you can even remotely update and remove the application, minimizing contact with the target phone as much as possible.
Most spy apps don’t include real-time monitoring, sometimes called mirroring or cloning. In other words, you won’t be able to hack into a live phone call. Instead, you’ll receive a recording on your dashboard after the fact.
How Spy Apps Work
While spy apps seem like something futuristic or advanced, the technology behind them is quite simple. Consider the interconnectivity of our modern world and how easy it is to transfer data from one device to another. If you have a voice-activated home assistant, you may have even experienced it taking over your phone when you’re more than a mile away because your child asked for a song.
Spy apps work like any other app, except they’re designed to run in the background without detection — the targeted phone won’t have an icon with flashing red letters saying “spy app” on the home page. The application records data then transmits it to the app on the app user’s phone. It’s similar to work tracking apps used by employers for remote time and productivity tracking.
Are Spy Apps Detectable?
Spy apps are designed to be difficult to detect. In most cases, the target is unlikely to stumble upon the app organically. However, there are other signs that a spy app might be present.
If your phone suddenly starts using tremendous amounts of data or seems slow and sluggish, this could be a sign that a spy app has been installed. Similarly, if your battery starts draining quickly and you haven’t downloaded any new apps, this could be another sign.
If you’re suspicious, go into your settings and look at the master list of apps on your Android device. If you see something you don’t recognize, delete it. A spy app could be hidden under a fake name and icon, typically representing a game. Delete unknown apps immediately or visit tech support for guidance.
Now that you understand what spy apps do and how they work, consider these five benefits of using these programs in your daily life.
Benefit One: Child Safety
One of the most honest and heartfelt reasons to use a spy app is to protect your children. It can be hard for parents to monitor tech use all of the time, especially when a child wants to hide something. Of course, having strong rules and clear boundaries is an essential first step, but monitoring phone use with an app is a close second.
Parents often use spy apps to monitor their child’s interactions and behaviors, especially when concerned about safety. Spy apps can help a parent understand if their child is being bullied or using apps that are unsafe. Additionally, GPS tracking can be used to ensure a child is OK, even if they’ve turned off their mobile tracking features.
Be honest with your child about reserving the right to check their phone at any time. You may choose discretion about the app itself, but there should be a healthy dialogue about expectations with phone monitoring.
Benefit Two: Observing Employees
There are plenty of apps that allow you to observe employees at work, especially in a remote setting. Most of these apps are designed to keep employees on track and productive, ensuring the company is paying for work rather than leisure time.
However, there are cases when basic monitoring is insufficient. If you suspect an employee is stealing, sharing proprietary information, or engaging in other activities that could come back on the business, a spy app would be beneficial. As most employees with a private agenda would be careful not to use company email accounts or phones, this is an effective alternative.
Before you start putting spy apps on all your employees’ phones, consider the ethical issues. If you use general monitoring apps, employees should be aware. It’s also imperative to have the right legal wording in your contracts and policies to prevent backlash for using these apps.
Spy apps are a great tool for monitoring unusual circumstances with employees and are not designed to be a daily infringement on their privacy.
Benefit Three: Building a Divorce Case
One of the most common uses for spy apps is to dissolve a marriage. If you live in a no-fault state, having data to support your case isn’t as much of a concern. However, if you’re navigating a divorce with someone who committed adultery and you’re working through alimony and support payments, things can get messy. It’s also true that many people use these apps to uncover infidelity in the first place.
A spy app is like the modern version of hiring a private investigator. There’s a lot of variation regarding what’s admissible in court, but a spy app could help put you in the right place at the right time for an eye-witness event.
Benefit Four: Data Protection
Using a spy app to protect data may seem contradictory, but it works in a pinch. Many users put a spy app on their own phones to protect themselves in the event of a data loss or breach event. Many spy apps automatically sync data backups to another device, creating a security net should something go wrong.
Benefit Five: Protecting Senior Family Members
Finally, many spy app users put the app on a senior parent’s phone or tablet for safety reasons. Since many seniors use smartphones and tablets to stay in touch with their family members, a spy app can be used in the same way you would monitor your child’s phone: for protection.
Individuals who aren’t tech-savvy or have memory disorders are at risk for exploitation. While we may quickly recognize a fraudulent account that’s designed to look just like a friend’s, a senior may not. Similarly, this app can help monitor banking and payment apps usage to ensure no one is accessing the senior’s accounts or convincing them to send money.
Using a spy app on a senior’s device helps concerned caretakers protect their loved ones from being taken advantage of. In some cases, it can also be used for GPS tracking to find someone with memory disorders or Alzheimer’s who can’t be located.
While the words “spy app” can bring up negative connotations, there are plenty of legitimate and beneficial reasons to use these programs. Keep these benefits in mind if you’re considering using the best spy apps for Android in the coming year.