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How to guarantee your Android phone isn’t spying on you

Updated May 28th, 2014 3:22PM EDT
Android Spy Apps Blocking
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

Last week, a developer revealed to the world just how easy it is for a nefarious hacker to use your Android phone to spy on you. With some simplecode that utilized a serious security hole, the developer was able to create a program that caused an Android handset’s camera to covertly capture photos on command, and then transmit those photos to a remote server without the user ever knowing.

The idea that your smartphone might be taking photos of you and sending them to a hacker without your knowledge is absolutely terrifying. But as it turns out, there’s an app that can guarantee your phone isn’t spying on you.

Shortly after our story about the aforementioned security hole was published, we were contacted by app developer Ziklag Systems. The company has created several security apps for the Android platform, but one in particular could be of interest to those who want to go the extra mile in order to ensure their privacy isn’t being violated by their own smartphones.

Dubbed Office Anti-Spy, Ziklag’s app basically puts your Android phone in a locked down mode that disables most functions. Apps can no longer transmit data, the camera and mic are no longer accessible, and any attempts apps might make to access any system functions are blocked.

Incoming phone calls and text messages will still be received while Office Anti-Spy is enabled.

The app was designed to be used by companies looking to ensure information discussed during private meetings is kept private, but it can obviously be used by anyone looking to be absolutely certain that their privacy is not violated.

Ziklag’s app is a free download in the Google Play store, and it features a limited trial so users can ensure that Office Anti-Spy is compatible with their phones. Those looking to purchase an unlimited license can then do so for $20 on the Office Anti-Spy website.

A video explanation of the app’s capabilities follows below.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.