Smart phones, especially those powered by android, have become very common nowadays. Both young children and adults have access to smart phones for various uses. The internet is the source of a wide variety of information, and it also connects people in different locations around the globe. However, connecting your phone to the internet could lead to malware getting into its system. This will consequently cause your android phone or tablet to run slower than usual. Additionally, if malware is left unattended, you could lose relevant data from your phone or tablet. Cyber criminals can also have access to your data and subsequently use it to commit identity theft and fraud.
Signs of Malware on an Android Device/Phone
There are several signs to look out for to know whether your android phone or tablet is infected with malware or not. These signs include:
- You see new apps that you don’t remember downloading
- The battery drains faster than normal
- The phone becomes too slow
- The loading of apps takes longer than usual
- Data is used up in an unexplainable manner
- There is a bunch of pop-up ads
Checking for Malware
The best way to check if the phone is infected is by running an antivirus scan. There are a significant number of antiviruses available today. Some are for free, while others need some payment. It is advisable to consider the most comprehensive antivirus that is suitable for your device.
Carry out some research to ensure that the software you settle for scans your device entirely and does not ignore any vulnerability. An incomplete scan gives a false sense of security, while in the real sense, your phone or tablet could be vulnerable to malware attacks.
How to Remove Malware from your Android Device
Once the antivirus scan is complete, and it indicates that your device is infected, some steps should be taken to prevent further damage. These steps include:
- Shutting down the phone completely and restart it in ‘safe mode.’ This can be down by simply holding the power button down until the phone goes off completely. Shutting down the device may not stop the malware, but it will surely prevent further damage and inhibit the malware from spreading to the nearby networks. Once you switch your device back on, select the ‘safe mode’ before dealing with the malware. This action will limit the damage the infected app can cause. Shutting down your device for a short time also gives you a chance to think and research more on the problem at hand.
- Go to settings, find the infected app, and uninstall or force it to close. Clicking on the app should bring up options to Uninstall, Force Close, or Force Stop. Once the app is uninstalled or shut, the malware is unlikely to spread to other apps or the network.
- Delete the infected app(s) and anything else that looks suspicious on your device. If you have not looked at the list of your downloads before, you may be shocked by the odd things you might find on your device.
- Download and install malware protection software. Several security apps can scan your device for viruses and get rid of any infected software. Google play store is the best place from where you can get these security apps.
Protecting your Android Device against Malware
Removing malware from your android phone or tablet is not the end. You are also required to take some steps that will prevent future attacks on your device. Some of these steps include;
- Avoid suspicious links in emails and over the internet. This is the most common way in which malware such as viruses and ransom-ware gets into the device’s operating system.
- Stay away from insecure Wi-Fi connections. It is advisable always to use a virtual private network (VPN) when connected to the public internet.
- Invest in robust security software that will protect your android device against any cyber-attacks.
- Always download and install apps from trusted sources. Google Play Store is a trusted source when it comes to android devices. Ensure you read the information on various apps to understand how much access the app developers have to your device.
- Your passwords must be strong and complicated. You can also decide to use the password manager that stores complex passwords which are hard to remember but difficult to hack
- All operating systems and software must be updated to the latest versions
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