Modern smartphones are essentially mini-computers, which means that the signs you have a virus on your phone are often fairly similar to the signs you have a virus on your computer. Here’s a quick list and some suggestions about what you should do about it.
This is not only probably the most obvious indicator that your phone has a virus, it’s probably the most overlooked indicator because there are so many factors which can influence your phone’s performance that it’s really easy to miss. Basically, you will want to give your phone a good clean up and tune up and possibly change the battery (they do tend to wear out before the phone itself does). If none of that works, then there’s a distinct possibility that your phone has a virus.
2.Seeing ridiculous numbers of adverts
This is an interesting one because there is a category of software known as PUPs, it stands for “potentially unwanted programs” and it basically refers to the fact that many apps are supported by advertising to the point where many users find them more hassle than they’re worth, but some may be willing to put up with the adverts because they really value the underlying functionality (but presumably can’t or won’t pay for it to get rid of the adverts). Sometimes, however, being bombarded by adverts is a sign of a straightforward virus.
3.Unexpected usage/unexplained charges
One of the worst possible ways you can find out you had a virus is to get a huge bill from your network because your phone has, unbeknown to you, been calling premium numbers and/or sending texts at premium rates. Fortunately, this is fairly unusual because virus creators using this strategy tend to prefer to be rather more discreet and essentially bleed people dry over the long term.
Having said that, the reason why virus creators prefer to take this approach is because it can wind up netting them a whole lot more money so it’s really important to stay alert to your phone bill and to make sure that every item on it is something you recognize. It’s also important to monitor your data usage, albeit for a slightly different reason.
Malware creators don’t make money out of using your phone’s data the way they can make money out of unauthorized calls and texts. The reason you need to worry about unauthorized data usage is that it could be a sign that someone is stealing your personal information from your phone (and possibly the personal information of any contacts you have). Similarly, you also want to be on the look out for any signs that your phone is connecting to the internet when it shouldn’t be. Again, this could be a sign that someone is trying to steal your personal information.
How to treat a virus
Your first step in treating a virus is to see if you can download and install a security app which will take care of it for you. This is a bit hit and miss because modern virus creators often block the download and/or installation of security apps, but since it’s far and away the easiest solution, it’s worth a try.
If that doesn’t work, try cleaning up your browser cache (for each browser you use). If that doesn’t work you have two main options. Option one is to do a factory reset of your phone, which will basically wipe everything and set it back to “as new” condition. Option two is to go through your list of apps, try to work out which one is the virus and get rid of it.
Option two may require booting your phone into “safe mode” so you can see your list of apps without them running. Again, some modern viruses may stop you rebooting (for exactly that reason) in which case, try holding down the power and volume buttons until you see your phone’s logo and then release the power button but keep holding the volume buttons until you see the reboot menu and choose Safe Mode. If this doesn’t work, you’ll have to check the internet for your model of phone.
How to stop your phone getting a virus in the first place
While it’s a good idea to be able to identify signs that your phone has a virus, it’s an even better idea to take steps to stop your phone picking up a virus in the first place. Head over to this page right now to give your phone the protection it needs