How to know if your phone has a virus

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Valery Aloyants
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If you've only downloaded apps from the official store for your phone's operating system and have been careful what files you open (typically via email), there's a good chance your phone has nothing. However, viruses and associates can affect both smartphones and tablets, so let's take a look at your device and see if your phone has a virus.

Can Android Phones Be Infected With Viruses?

Yes, in much the same way as computers, with malicious code sent through apps, emails or even text messages. Technically, code that infects a computer is referred to as a virus when the code automatically duplicates itself after the device is infected and then either destroys the data or attempts to send it to another device. So while smartphones can get infected with viruses, there are other problems that are much more important.

How did my phone get infected with a virus?

The most common way phones get infected with viruses and other problems is through apps, email attachments, text messages, and even malicious websites.

What Types of Viruses Infect Phones?

Ultimately, it doesn't matter what type of virus your phone has, since no matter what type it will have to be rendered harmless. But it's probably one of those listed here. In addition to limiting the functionality of your phone, viruses can cause more serious damage, such as deleting your data, taking and using your data, or making (or attempting to make) unauthorized purchases.

  • Adware- Create ads with links to web pages or apps that can cause damage or security breaches
  • Malware- Detect some phone functions to steal personal information, send text messages or perform other troublesome actions
  • Ransomware- Lock files or apps, then ask the user for money in exchange for unlocking the device
  • spyware- Monitors user's phone activity for malicious purposes
  • Trojan Horse- Connects to a legitimate app, so it interferes with the operation of your phone

How do I know if my phone has a virus

Here are some telltale signs to look for:

  • There are apps on your phone that you haven't downloaded. Check your list of apps to see if there are any that you don't recognize.
  • The phone freezes regularly. This problem may not be caused by a virus. But if it crashes often, a virus is probably the cause. 
  • The battery drains faster than usual. If you're using your phone as you normally do, but the battery drains faster than usual, that's another sign.
  • You see more pop-up ads than usual. A virus can show a lot of pop-up ads, it is almost safe to have Adware on your phone.
  • Data consumption increases without logical explanations.
  • You pay for apps, wallpapers, ringtones etc that you have never bought. Some malware sends text messages to premium numbers, increasing expenses.

How to prevent and remove a virus from Android phones

There is a lot you can do to stop your phone from getting infected with a virus. Download and use these apps before you think you need them. In addition to detecting viruses, they protect your phone.

  • Stay up to date. Download and install a reputable antivirus app for your phone. Also, it always accepts operating system updates.
  • Only use approved apps. Make sure you only download approved apps from Google Play for Android devices and the App Store for iOS devices. Before you download an app, read reviews and check out the developer's website. 
  • Be expert with your inbox. Be wary of attachments and only open them if they come from trusted sources. Use the same level of attention with links embedded in a message. Finally, be on the lookout for messages that appear to come from companies you do business with.
  • Beware of phishing attacks. Many scammers send fake emails that appear to be from legitimate companies. Emails often have the telltale signs of slightly obfuscated email addresses, poor grammar, and requests for "credit card information updates" or other phishing scams.
  • Check the lyrics. Maintain the same level of skepticism towards text messages and social media and advertisements.
  • Trust your instincts. If something seems "odd" with any activity you are doing on your phone, take a step back and ask yourself if it's worth it to proceed. You may lose some features of your phone or some of the data it holds. 

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