7 Signs Your Phone Has A Virus (Malware)

Also known as malware, a phone virus is a dangerous software capable of infecting your device and causing harm to your smartphone or stealing personal information.

Viruses can get into your phone through various means, such as when you click on a suspicious link, download an infected app, or even visit an unsecured website. As it’s not safe for your phone, it has become crucial to detect and remove them as soon as possible. Doing so will prevent further damage to your phone and protect your sensitive information.

Therefore, in this blog post, we’ll reveal 7 signs your phone has a virus. In addition, we’ll discuss ways to get rid of them effectively.

How Virus Affects Your Phone

Phone viruses are known as malware. They are quite similar to traditional computer viruses. A malware is a software designed by “bad actors” to attack a mobile device system and perform unauthorized activities. For Instance, they can intercept messages, or remotely turn your phone camera and/or microphone to gain access to your private life.

Malware is usually distributed via text messages or emails that come with a link to download a file. That file contains codes capable of infecting a device. Bad actors can also attach malicious code within everyday applications we download such as browsers or other utility apps. As the malware enters your device, it compromises it and performs a variety of dangerous actions. Some of these include stealing important elements of data, including your personal information, such as passwords, contacts, and financial data.

If the attacker is able to get enough pieces of personal information from your phone, this can lead to critical risks, including identity theft. Even worse, like the biological virus, once your phone is affected by a certain type of virus, it may spread to other devices you come into contact with. Your family and friends may receive similar emails or text messages with the same malware that affected your mobile.

How Phones Get Infected With Viruses

Mobile phones can become infected with malware and viruses in several ways:

Installing Malicious Apps

Downloading and installing an app to your device from third-party sites puts you at risk of getting malware. While you can install verified apps pre-vetted via an app store, some users download directly from developers through a process called sideloading. However, to ensure the apps you download are verified and trusted, it’s advisable to download apps directly from the official Apple App Store or Google Play store and check the app’s reviews and ratings.

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Phishing Attacks 

Like computers, mobile phones aren’t left out of phishing attacks. A bad actor can forward you a text message or email (also known as smishing) that has an attachment or a link to download a file. Once you click and open that file, malware will be installed on your phone and begin to perform a number of malicious actions. So, be careful about the messages you receive and the files you download to your device.

Browser Exploits

As the name implies, this kind of virus takes advantage of vulnerabilities in your browser or software launched by the browser like a PDF reader, Flash player, or image viewer. By simply visiting an unsafe website, you can trigger a browser exploit capable of installing malware or performing other actions on your device. Therefore, you should avoid visiting unsecured web pages.

8 Signs Your Phone Has A Virus (Malware)

Here are some of the signs that your device may have malware

  1. Your Phone Send Suspicious Messages: If your phone keeps receiving and sending strange and suspicious messages, then it’s possible that your phone may be infected with malware. If your phone is compromised, it may start sending messages to your contact list. These texts contain code directed towards infecting the people you know.
  2. You Encounter Strange Apps on Your Device: If you find a strange app on your phone you didn’t download, it may be malicious. If your device is infected with malware, it may be possible for it to download and install other malicious software onto your phone. Sometimes, even when you uninstall them, they reappear after some time. Some may even refuse to uninstall. This is a big red flag!
  3. You’re Getting Too Many Annoying Ads on your Phone: This may be another sign of a virus on your phone. Although ads are a normal part of the internet, when it becomes too much than usual and you start seeing them in places you won’t normally encounter, you may have an adware (a type of malware) on your device.
  4. Unusual Surge in Data Usage: If you observe constant data usage surges, even when you’re using your device normally, you may have malware. It may be that bad actors are using one of your apps for their activities. Check your data usage information to see which programs are utilizing the most data and check for any suspicious activity.
  5. Your Phone Performance is Slow: Although it’s normal for phones to slow down a little over time if you observe that your phone is suddenly significantly slower than usual, it may be a sign. Similarly, if apps are crashing or operating slowly, this could be a sign that you have malware on your device.
  6. You Get Unfamiliar Charges: If your phone bill collects unfamiliar charges that you never approved, it could be a sign that your phone has malware. Bad actors can use this as a means to cash out from your account.
  7. Your Phone Battery Life is Declining Faster than Normal: If your phone’s battery health suddenly declines this could be a sign that your phone has malware. Malware software runs in the background even while you aren’t actively using your phone which can affect your phone’s battery life.
  8. Your Phone is Always Overheating: Sometimes if a phone is running lots of programs or downloading a huge amount of data, it can overheat. The same can be the case for malware. If malicious software is running many processes simultaneously in the background on your device, it may cause your phone to become hot.
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How To Prevent Your Phone From Viruses (Malware)

Here’s how you can prevent and protect your phone from getting a virus.

  1. Always Update Your Phone: In addition to downloading and installing a reputable antivirus app for your phone, always keep your operating system updated. Doing this will improve your device’s ability to counter any foreign attacks.
  2. Install Verified Apps Only: When downloading apps on your phone, ensure they’re approved by the App Store or Google Play Store. For more confirmation on whether the app is trusted and legitimate, read reviews, and check out the developer’s website.
  3. Beware of Emails: Employ the same level of caution you apply when looking at messages on your computer. Be careful when opening attachments and only download those from trusted senders. Likewise, be cautious of the limbs embedded in an email. Lastly, be wary of messages that look like the companies you work with.
  4. Avoid Phishing Schemes: Scammers are known for sending fake emails in a manner that looks like they’re from legitimate companies. The emails often contain the telltale signs of slightly off email addresses, poor construction/organization/grammar, and requests for you to “upload or update your credit card information” or other similar phishing scams.
  5. Install A Good Antivirus App: A robust antivirus app made specifically for your device is one of the best ways to protect your phone from viruses and stay safe online. Antivirus apps can monitor, scan and expose malware on your device and eliminate them before they steal your data.

Frequently Asked Questions Related To 7 Signs Your Phone Has A Virus (Malware)

How Do I Prevent a Virus From My Phone?

The best way to prevent viruses from your phone is to download and install a security app that can monitor your device for any threats. An antivirus app is capable of identifying the malicious apps on your phone so you can safely eliminate them.

How Can You Tell if a Phone Has a Virus?

Common signs that a mobile phone has viruses include seeing suspicious apps on your device or getting messages sent from your phone to others that you didn’t initiate. Additionally, if you encounter incessant ads on your device or observe your phone has a significant data usage surge, this strange behavior is a sign that your mobile phone may have malware.

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Can a Virus Destroy a Phone?

Malware has the ability to affect the performance of a device. In extreme cases, it can make a device useless and prevent you from uninstalling the application. However, most often, bad actors use malware to access and collect personal data on devices and perform unauthorized actions, like listening to conversations or charging for services and apps, without your knowledge. Malware can put a person’s information, finances, privacy, and identity at risk.

Does Airplane Mode Prevent Viruses?

Airplane mode can significantly reduce information loss and stop data exposure while it’s turned on. Unfortunately, once you turn off the airplane mode, your mobile phone will still be vulnerable to malware.

How do You Eliminate a Virus Fast?

Using a trusted security solution, you can immediately run a virus scan on your phone to identify and remove threats.  It can also help prevent future malware and protect your devices, personal information, online privacy, and identity.

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