Viruses are a specific type of malware that infiltrates a computer or other device and its programs. A cybercriminal may be able to install a virus on your device without your knowledge or consent. The virus may then be able to enter a new malicious code on your device that can monitor and tamper with your online activity.
Designed to generate revenue for cybercriminals, malware can steal your information, make your device send SMS to high-priced text services, or install adware that forces you to view web pages or download apps.
Your contact list, personal information, location, passwords, and more can also be stolen, as well as accessing your devices and stealing your information for their own use or for sale on the dark web.
Hackers also use ransomware to lock devices and encrypt personal data. Then they can demand a ransom payment from the victim to regain access to their files.
Signs that your phone has viruses
Malware like viruses are known to perform repetitive tasks that can consume resources on your devices. Signs of malware may appear in these ways:
- Your phone is very slow.
- Apps take longer to load.
- The battery drains faster than expected.
- There is an abundance of pop-up ads.
- Your phone has apps that you don’t remember downloading.
- Unexplained data usage occurs.
- High phone bills.
A good way to check for malware on your Android phone is to run an antivirus scan.
Before purchasing an antivirus for your phone, be sure to consider the most comprehensive product available for your device.
There are many antivirus software options available in the market. Some are free, some are paid.
It’s a good idea to do your research to make sure the security software you invest in performs a full scan and doesn’t ignore any vulnerabilities, and an incomplete scan can give you a false sense of security when your device is vulnerable to cyberattacks.
How to remove viruses and other malware from your device
If you think you have malware on your phone, it is important to prevent malware from causing any further harm. Here are some steps you can take:
- Turn off the phone and restart in safe mode. Press the power button to access the power off options. Most Android phones come with the option to restart in safe mode. Here’s how, according to Google, although safe mode can vary by phone: Press the power button on your phone. When the animation starts, press and hold the Volume Down button on your phone. Keep doing this until the animation ends and your phone restarts. You will see “Safe Mode” at the bottom of the screen.
- Uninstall the suspicious application. Find the app in settings and uninstall or close it. This may not completely remove the malware, but it may prevent further damage to your device, or from transmitting malware to other devices on your network.
- Look for other apps that you think may be infected. There is a possibility that some applications have been infected with malware. If you think you can identify these apps, delete them immediately.
- Install a powerful mobile security app on your phone.