How to detect a virus on your Android device

In terms of straightforward numbers, Android devices are far and away the most popular mobile devices there are. This means that they’re prime targets for people who create malicious software. This means that if your Android device starts behaving oddly, you do at least need to consider the possibility that it has picked up some malware.

At the same time, even premium Android devices can suffer from performance issues which have nothing to do with malware. This means that, depending on the symptoms your device is showing, you may need to keep an open mind as to the cause (and treatment). With that in mind, here is how to detect a virus on your Android device and what to do about it.

Mobile Antivirus Software

Your phone starts making calls and sending texts without your knowledge

The first point to check here is how often this is happening. If it’s only happening occasionally, then it could be you either forgetting or activating your phone by accident. The solution to the latter is usually a decent phone case. If it’s happening regularly then it’s odds on you do have a virus.

Your mobile device starts using a lot of data and/or connecting to WiFi unexpectedly

Similar comments apply here. If this is only happening now and again, then it may be you or someone else messing about with your phone, especially children. If it’s happening regularly, then it’s a pretty strong sign of a virus.

You start seeing a lot of adverts

This is a complicated one. Seeing a lot of adverts can be a sign that you have picked up a virus. It can also be a sign that you’ve installed an ad-funded app and are getting more adverts than you expected. If you can remember installing an app recently, try uninstalling it and see what happens. If that doesn’t work, then you have probably picked up adware.

You notice apps you don’t remember installing

This is another one where there’s a bit of nuance. Sometimes people just forget they’ve installed apps, even if they usually have a good memory. Because of this, the simple approach is, again, just to try uninstalling the app and see if it disappears peacefully. If it does, it was probably legitimate and if it doesn’t you may well have picked up malware.

Your phone slows down

This is a common sign that you’ve picked up malware, but it’s an even more common sign that you just need to give your device a good clean to free up some resources. It may also be a sign that you’re trying to use an app which is just a bit too much for your device even if it technically meets the minimum specifications to run it. Try giving your device a good declutter and see if this solves the problem. If not, you may have a virus.

Your battery life drops

There are lots of factors can influence battery life. The big ones are age, temperature (especially cold but also excess heat) and usage. If you have an old battery, try swapping it out. If you don’t try putting your device in a case to stop it switching on accidentally, which will really drain the battery. If neither of these options works, you may well have a virus on your Android device.

Treating a virus on your Android device

You can try installing an antivirus app but you may find that the malware blocks this. If this is the case, you basically have two options. Option one is just to give in gracefully and do a full factory-reset of your device. This will do exactly what it says and delete literally everything on your device, including the virus. Option two is to go through your device, starting with the browser and apps and try to find and uninstall the culprit. You may discover, however, that the malware won’t let you uninstall it and you wind up doing a factory-reset anyway.

For the sake of completeness, some forms of malware will try to stop you from doing a factory-reset of your device. The good news is that they can only disable the option to do this through the software. This is exactly why manufacturers include an option to do a factory-reset via the hardware. Just do a search for the correct process for your device.

Preventing a virus from happening again

If all this sounds like it could be painful, the good news is that you can spare yourself the pain by downloading a reliable antivirus for Android. In fact, you can head to this page right now to download Comodo antivirus for Android.