We probably use our mobile phone as much as our computers, for some may be even more. More than a luxury they have now become a necessity and why not? Apart from the usual, calling, texting, listening to music and gaming, we now use our phones for sending mails, making financial transactions, mapping our health, keeping a track of our loved ones, and what not. Yes! Undeniably, they are an integral part of our lives.
However, amongst all the benefits that surround us, they have also made us vulnerable to data theft! Today, losing data is as much of a nightmare as losing money! That is why most of us are often left wondering, “Does my phone have a virus?”, “Is my phone infected?”, “Is there a virus in my mobile phone?” or “how to check Android phone for virus?”. In this blog we will discuss on how to find if your mobile phone infected and how can you secure it.
How to Check Android Phone for Virus?
Since we rely on our Android phones so much, getting a malware in it is nothing less than a nightmare! So, let’s look at some of the most common symptoms when a phone is infected:
High Data Usage: This most likely would be one of the first symptom that your phone is infected. If your data pack is getting exhausted at a much faster pace than usual, then it is likely that it has malware. This is because the malware will try to run in the background and try to connect with the Internet thus consuming additional data and exhausting it way faster than expected.
Frequent App Crash: Playing your favorite game and it keeps on crashing again and again? Or is your messaging app shutting down frequently? Well! Any virus would consume your mobile resources and interfere with the functioning of your phone. Therefore, usually the first target are the apps that are unable to cope up with the operations that the malware hampers with.
Battery Drain: Another way to check Android for malware, this is probably one of the most common symptom of your mobile phone infected with virus. If you notice that battery has been draining too fast then probably it is infected. That is because, any malware once in your mobile phone would run a lot of background tasks making it consume your phones battery.
Irritating Pop-ups: Too many irritating ads popping up while you browse the Internet on your phone? Yes, that could be because of a virus on your phone.
Unwanted Apps: If your list of apps contains a few names that are not familiar to you then it’s time to remove them. These apps are typically very identical to original apps. In case you recall not downloading such an app, get rid of it immediately.
Note: Don’t get paranoid in case you notice these symptoms. Sometimes, battery drainage could also be because of an app that consumes too much resources. However, always be cautious and aware about any changes in your phones behavior.
Also, do not uninstall apps without cross checking. Sometimes, a few are pre-installed by the mobile company for the smooth functioning of your Android phone. Thus, always research before you uninstall an app.
It’s Time to Change and Inculcate Some Habits
It is good that you are concerned about how to check Android for malware. However, as precaution is always better than cure, let us take a look at some of the ways in which you can protect your phone from malware.
Update your Android: All your Android updates include security patches and bug fixes that protect your phone from external threats. You will find the update in Settings > About Phone > System Update.
Install Only Trusted Apps: Mobile phone enthusiasts often download apps outside of Play Store. However, this can open the doors wide open for malware. Thus, it is best advised to download apps from the Play Store.
But does that mean all apps on Play Store are trustworthy? The answer is a big No! Although Google makes constant efforts to sift the apps that do not meet the security requirements, however there are always chances of such apps to crawl in that may infect your Android with Malware. Thus, it is best to research about the app before downloading it. Especially look out for the company that has launched the app, the number of downloads, the reviews etc.
Remove Apps you don’t Use: Get rid of apps that you do not use or have not used for a long time. This also in a way keeps your phone clutter free and gives you a fair idea on all the apps on your phone. In case of that one possibility that you need the app again, well it’s just one click away from installation.
Always Practice Safe Browsing: Yes most of the cyber security experts harp on safe browsing habits and they aren’t wrong to say the least. It is important to visit sites that are trusted. Use trusted VPN services on your Android phone to browse safely.
Understand the Permissions that you give to the Apps: Not many of us think give a second thought to the permissions that we give to apps. Trust us, not all of them need access to your contacts, location, media folders, microphone and camera. You have the discretion to give access to these apps. Thus, take out time, check app permissions and toggle off the ones that you feel are unnecessary. To do that, go to Settings>Apps>Click on an App>Permissions. In that you can toggle on or off as per your wish.
Keep a Track of Mobile Data Usage: It’s time that you pay more attention to some basics. One of them includes keeping a track of your mobile data usage. As mentioned, abnormal data usage may happen because of a malware infected phone. Thus, you should have a general idea on how much data you usually use. You can also use apps to monitor data on Android Phone.
Restrict Downloads: More often than not, we haplessly download apps and content online. Without phones advancing we also download from websites, emails etc. But these downloads can actually be a gateway for malware that cannot just be a threat to the phone but also your content saved on that phone. Thus, it is best to restrict the number of downloads on your Android phone.
Avoid Connecting to Public WiFi: We all love free WiFi services, but there is a lot of risk attached to them. These services are a favorite of hackers to attack user devices. Thus, it is best to avoid using them.
Never Root Your Android: Many of us root our phone to be able to use various applications on our Android phone without any restrictions. However, this is not recommended as it breaks the protective shield that your OS offers.
My Phone is Infected! What Now?
There are two situations in which you can find that your phone is infected with a malware. Either your phone will start misbehaving and will not allow you to conduct normal functions or you suspect that there is a malware basis observation of unusual performance. In case you realized that your phone has been attacked by a malware here are a few precautionary steps that you can take:
Shutdown Your Gadget
If your phone is under attack and you can’t think of what to do next, just shut down your phone. Well, this may not exactly resolve the problem but it can temporarily disable the malware from further damage. As you switch off your phone you can either reach out for help or look up the Internet from some other device to find out the solution.
Use Your Phone in Safe Mode
So, what happens when you switch on your phone that is infected? In all probability the malware will attack your phone again. To curb that, it is best to reboot your phone in the safe mode.
How to start phone in Safe Mode?
- Long hold the power button
- Click on Power off option
- Reboot to safe mode
Note: In case you cannot find the Safe Mode option you can activate the Airplane Mode.
Look for Suspicious App in Settings
Go to Settings and in that, tap on Apps. You will get a list of all the applications installed on your phone. As you scroll down all the apps, look out for the one that you may not have installed. Uninstall or force stop the app.
Note: As mentioned above, do not uninstall apps without cross checking. Sometimes, a few of them are pre-installed by the mobile company for the smooth functioning of your Android phone. Thus, always research before you uninstall an app.
Unable to Uninstall Infected App
In case you are unable to uninstall the app on your own, we would advise you to reach out to a professional for help. However, before that, disconnect the internet connection, to stop the malware from causing further damage.
Use a Trustworthy Anti Malware
More often than not people underestimate the importance of an antimalware for Android phone. This is very disappointing, as today, most of the tasks are done on the phone itself. Be it surfing the web or downloading apps, or watching movies or shopping or banking etc., we use our phones for many purposes. Thus, it is vital to download only the best antimalware on your Android phone.
Systweak Anti-Malware – One of the Best Antimalware for Android
A one stop solution to protect your phone from malware, Systweak Anti-Malware is a must try. The software can effectively scan, find and remove threats that make your phone vulnerable. Some of the key features this antimalware are:
- Quickly, effectively and efficiently gets rid of malware that may harm your phone
- Scans and apprises about any vulnerabilities that may be putting your phone at risk
- Offers Quick as well as Deep scan, that can be run as per user’s discretion
- Offers real time protection to your phone against any threats
- Keeps you updated on apps that cost you money
- Allows you to whitelist apps that you trust
- Offers safe browsing experience
Note – This app has been discontinued
So, here was a little bit from our side on how to check Android phone for Virus. Our digital life is getting interconnected at an exponential speed and at the same time this is putting us at a constant risk of losing our valuable information to cyber criminals. While, completely cutting off from your digital life is not exactly the solution, but what can be done is to be more aware about how to protect our devices, the information and hence ourselves from such threats.