How to Check Your Phone for Viruses
Like computers, smartphones are not immune to malware and viruses. A variety of viruses can cause unimaginable havoc. This walkthrough explains how to check your phone for viruses.
As mobile phones have become an integral and vital part of almost everyone’s lives, it is important to protect them. For some, it is their source of income while for others it’s a means of fun and livelihood.
To execute their malware programs, cybercriminals always prefer the platform where most people can get attacked. For them, nowadays, there is nothing better than mobile phone Operating Systems like Android and iOS. Yes, even iOS. It is a fallacy that an iPhone can’t have viruses.
Types of Phone Viruses
The virus is just a general term for representing whichever malware is ailing a device. A virus is, in fact, one of the branches of the malware family tree.
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A typical computer virus, after infiltrating your system, multiplies itself and eats down the device. However, the phone’s malware programs are different. The following are the most common malware types your smartphone can get infected with.
- Browser Hijacker: seizes management of your browser’s settings and manipulates them to encourage dubious content.
- Adware: compounds your device with ads that contain malicious links.
- Spyware: developed for monitoring and acquiring the users’ activities on their phones.
- Trojan: mask themselves as the vital apps and then infect the phone.
- Ransomware: encrypt your smartphone’s data and then ask for ransom in return for the decryption.
In the end, it doesn’t matter which virus has infiltrated your device. All that matters is that you get rid of it and put in place preventive measures.
Here’s what to watch out for to determine if a virus is present on your device:
Typical Signs of a Virus
Strange links, opening unknown email attachments, downloading random apps. These are ways you could let viruses slip into your device. So avoid them. This also implies that numerous users don’t know that their phones have been corrupted until it’s too late and weird things start arising. One of the best ways to check your phone for viruses is to see if any strange behavior matches the sign of a hidden culprit. Here’s what you should look for.
Also read: Is iPhone Virus Warning Real? The Fix!
1. Frequent and Uncontrollable Pop-up Ads
This is caused by Adware malware. It compounds your device with a lot of annoying pop-up ads that are very hard to get rid of. These ads aren’t just obnoxious; they tend to link to even worse viruses or scams that can result in further trouble.
2. Unexplained Fees Or Charges
A variation of phone viruses will automate some procedures to try and track users out of money. For example, they may secretly send dozens of texts to numbers set up to charge your phone for each text.
If you aren’t voluntarily paying for texts for special services, it’s probably malware doing the work. This can also create other kinds of costs! A virus may eat through your data plan and lead to higher charges from your service provider.
3. Faster Battery Drain
The most significant sign of a malware attack is when your phone’s battery suddenly starts draining abnormally. It clearly reveals that an app is hidden and secretly using resources in the background.
4. Unknown Apps
Sometimes, you’ll notice apps that you do not remember installing or even need. That app is without a doubt, malicious.
Malware can secretly install apps on your device even without permission. Check with your loved ones and kids to see if they’ve been downloading any apps onto your phone, which could also explain how something got there. Don’t open a strange app if you don’t recognize it!
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5. Your Phone Keeps Crashing Or Shutting Down
This could be due to many reasons though. Battery problems, overheating, and buggy updates. But if your phone is crashing over and over, in the same way, no matter what you are doing (or in specific cases, like when you use the same app), then it’s more likely that you have a virus.
6. The Virus Presents Itself
This will occur with ransomware, which will shut you out of apps and files, and then let you know what it has done. The goal is to get the user to send a ransom payment for making the phone usable again.
Sometimes, it is accompanied by incessant and long vibrations.
Also read: How To Hide Apps On Your Android Devices
When you use your phone for gaming or watching videos ceaselessly, overheating tends to arise, and it is normal. However, if overheating arises even though you are not using the phone actively, then an app runs in the background, causing the heat.
How To Get Rid Of Viruses From Your Device
When you have confirmed that your phone is infected, there are measures to take to get rid of the virus. Here are some of those ways:
The Malwarefox Antimalware
Malwarefox Antimalware is one of the most impressive defense solutions you will find. It is available for every platform. The android app of Malwarefox is quite convenient and straightforward to install and use.
Here are the steps to use Malwarefox Antimalware to remove viruses from your phone.
- Install Malwarefox from the Google Play store.
- Click on its icon to open it.
- Select Full Scan to perform the extensive scan of your phone.
- The program would start scanning the apps and files present on your phone and notify you if any threat is found.
- Delete the malicious apps.
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Manually Remove Virus from Phone
Follow the steps below to use the manual method of removing malware:
Note: Steps can differ for phone manufacturers. Look for similar steps on your phone.
- Restart your phone in Safe Mode so that only System Applications are functional.
- Go to App settings and remove all the newly installed applications one by one. Make a record of the apps that you are discarding so that if they are important, you can reinstall them.
- Once you uninstall an application, reboot your phone in normal mode and check for odd symptoms.
- Repeat the above steps until you detect the offending application.
- After the malicious applications are eliminated, you can reinstall the other safe apps.
Using a Virus Scan Program
You can employ the use of a scanning program to find malicious programs. Some devices like Samsung Galaxy have Smart Manager that can be used to run a scan for malicious software.
If your device lacks a scanning program, you can also download a third-party program to help with security. Many of the popular brands have app options for phones that will also be able to perform scans to check for viruses. Avast’s Security App is a popular choice and a free download, so if you’re troubled about viruses, this is a good step to take.
A virus scan won’t be 100% reliable and needs to be consistently updated for the best results, but it can help ascertain your uncertainties if you think there’s some malware sneaking about.
Other Tips For Avoiding Viruses
Here are a few tips to avoid viruses:
- Disconnect your phone from the internet immediately if you think you have a virus problem, then shut your phone down completely.
- Avoid getting trapped in the charming pop-up ads a click on them. They are mostly malware carriers.
- Always make sure a security solution is installed on all your devices.
- Run timely updates and maintenance
- Don’t download apps unless from your trusted source like Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
- When an email from an unknown source arrives with an attachment, never open it without a proper scan.