You read about a hack one day and the next thing you think to yourself is whether or not your phone has a virus. Well, we’re here to answer that question for you.
In this post, we’ll take a look at all the simple ways you can detect and get rid of malware on iOS and Android devices. We’ll also talk about how you can get viruses on an Android or iOS device. Finally, we’ll talk about how to remove a virus if you have one.
Malware works similarly to other viruses in the sense that it stealthily carries out its attack. Modern malware is smart enough to get itself downloaded on your phone and lay dormant until you unknowingly activate it one day. Once activated, it doesn’t show any signs that it’s stealing your personal data and sending it wherever the creator of the malware decides.
It’s important to be proactive and understand the steps to take to know for certain if there’s malware on your device whether it be Android or iOS. Let’s take a look at the top signs that your Android or iOS device is infected with malware.
Signs of Malware on Your Android or iOS Device
Higher Data Usage After You Get a Virus
Most modern Androids and iPhones come with preinstalled data usage apps or features. You should be using a data usage app if your phone didn’t come with one. If you find that you’re suddenly consuming more data per month than usual but you haven’t changed your browsing habits, then your phone may have a virus hiding in the background. It could be running tasks, using the internet and transmitting personal information back to a hacker’s computer.
Your Apps Keep Crashing
We don’t live in a world of perfect apps. From time to time, your apps will crash no matter who developed them or what your operating system is. But if you notice that an app you used to use regularly without any problems suddenly starts crashing a lot, that could be a sign that your device may have malicious apps installed. This problem with your Android phone or iPhone could be caused by just one malicious app or several.
Pop-ups are usually the result of adware getting on your system surreptitiously.
Regardless of how they got on your phone, they’re annoying. Some people seem to have this idea that pop-ups are completely harmless since they only show ads.
Technically they’re harmless, but you have no way of knowing if the ad they’re showing is also harmless.
Mobile security isn’t something you should take lightly. Phone virus samples in the wild can take advantage of pop up ads knowing people are going to click them.
Note:The most important point is that you can get rid of them if you use a good adblocker. You can also get rid of ads if you use any of the many secure browsers on the market today like Opera and Brave.
If you have an adblocker in place but are still seeing ads even when you’ve closed your web browser on an iOS or Android device that means you have adware on your mobile device. Malicious pop-ups can and do steal your data especially if some other malware put them on your device in the first place.
New Apps Popping up on Your Mobile Device
Perhaps the clearest way to detect Android malware or iOS malware is to check for apps that you don’t remember installing either via the App Store or a third-party platform like Aptoide. As mentioned before, malware comes in all shapes and sizes. Some try to install apps on your Android and iOS devices without your permission while others hide in the background. If you find any such apps, uninstall them immediately and look for others like them.
To check for suspicious apps on Android:
To check for suspicious apps on iOS:
Your Phone Bill Has Suddenly Increased
Modern malware attacks your device in a variety of different ways resulting in a variety of different outcomes. For example, there’s malware that attacks your mobile device and starts sending high-rate SMS messages which causes your phone bill to go up. One recent example of such malware that surfaced in 2017 is known as Ztorg Trojan. It not only sent messages but also deleted any incoming messages.
You Have To Charge Your Phone More Often
Combined with other methods of detecting malicious software on Android and iOS devices, you should pay attention to the frequency with which you have to charge your phone. Since malware has to perform some computations to be effective, it will drain your battery faster than normal.
Sometimes, a malicious app can start eating up your battery very quickly. Take a look at how quickly your Android or iOS device is losing battery life. Depending on other factors that we’ve mentioned throughout this guide, you may have malware on your Android and iOS device.
Your Android or iOS Device Feels Hotter Than Normal
You have to be fairly careful using this method to detect malware because sometimes your phone really is overheating for legitimate reasons.
Note:Overheating is usually not an indication that you have malware on your phone so you shouldn’t conclude that you’ve detected malware just because your phone is hot.
However, if your phone is hotter than usual and you’ve also noticed other malware symptoms, then high temperatures can be another indicator that you may have a virus.
The Best Way To Quickly Detect Malware
The indicators we’ve discussed will undoubtedly help detect malware on your Android or iOS device, but it can be time-consuming to check them all. Moreover, you may have to perform each detection test multiple times over the course of several days or weeks.
To save time, forget the manual method and install a good antivirus product on your device. You can go with either paid or free security products. One good free security product that we recommend is Kaspersky. Even though it’s received some bad press in the past, it’s still good enough to protect your Android or iOS device from various malware threats.
You can also use any other antivirus product that you like, it doesn’t change what you have to do to know for sure if you have malware on your iOS or Android devices. Install an antivirus product, run a scan and take a look at the results. If the results show no threats, in the vast majority of the cases, that means there are no threats.
The Quickest Way To Remove a Virus From Your Phone
Learning how to detect malware on Android and iOS devices isn’t going to do you much good if you don’t actually remove the malware.
To remove a virus (including pop-ups and mobile phone virus strains) you first need to power off your phone. When that’s done, you need to reboot it in safe mode.
This is important:Each Android or iOS phone has its own method of rebooting in safe mode so check yours by Googling the make and model of your Android or iOS phone followed by the phrase “method to boot into safe mode.”
Generally speaking, you should shut your phone down and then hold the power button until you see an animation show up on the screen. As soon as that happens, hold the volume down button while continuing to hold the power button.
If you hold this combination long enough, your phone should restart and then show you the Safe Mode option. Again, the exact steps and what you’ll see on the screen will depend on the make and model of your Android or iOS device. Once you’re in Safe Mode, it’s time to get rid of anything you suspect may be allowing malware to act on your phone.
You May Have To Uninstall Some Apps
The method of removing apps is different for every Android or iOS phone but the general steps remain the same regardless of your operating system.
You have to go to Settings and then to the submenu that lets you uninstall apps. Once there, check the list of installed apps and see if there are any apps you don’t remember installing. Sometimes you may not have the option of uninstalling the app outright. Use the Force Close options on such apps and then try uninstalling them again.
Note:Keep in mind that uninstalling or forcing closure doesn’t guarantee that you’ve removed the malware from your Android or iOS phone. What these actions will do is stop the malware from causing more damage. It’ll also prevent further spread of the malware through your network to other connected devices.
If while searching for suspicious apps you find an option to delete an app and its data forever then don’t hesitate to do so. The next bit is to install an antivirus product and then run a scan of your device.
Note that uninstalling apps on iOS is a bit different than on Android. For Android, refer to the screenshots in this section.
For iOS, you need to long tap the app you want to get rid of and then click the Remove App option.
Preventative Measures Against Malware
Looking for suspicious apps, deleting them and running scans all represent activities that may be fun for some people and tedious for others. No matter how you feel about it, the better option is to not have malware on your Android or iOS phone in the first place. To do that, you’ll need to do the following:
Get a Good Antivirus and VPN on Your Android or iOS Device
We’ve already mentioned how a good antivirus product can protect your device. Now, we want you to add a VPN service to hide your identity and conserve the privacy of your data. If hackers don’t know the true IP address of your device, it’ll be a lot harder for them to send any malware your way unless you download the malware yourself.
Keep Your Devices Updated
Almost all major malware can be avoided if you keep the operating system of your phone up-to-date. Keep all your apps updated as well. That’s the easiest way to make sure you’re automatically protected against all new malware.
Don’t disable automatic updates either via the Settings menu or on Google Play Store or App Store.
To update on Android:
To update on iOS:
Don’t Click Unknown Links
Links are the single most effective tool for hackers to get you to download malware on your iOS or Android device.
This is important:Generally speaking, you should never click on links you don’t know beforehand whether you get them through texts or email.
Use a Password Manager
Password managers are the way to go if you want to use complex passwords for multiple accounts. There’s no longer a need to keep all your passwords in your head. A long, unique and complex password for each of your accounts will make it harder for hackers to slip malware onto your device. The only viable way to do that is to use a password manager.
Use a VPN When Connecting To Public WiFi
This includes any WiFi connection you don’t trust like the one at a coffee shop, library, hotel or gym. VPN services are great at giving you an extra layer of security and anonymity to stay safe from hackers and malware. You should always use one if you have no choice but to use public WiFi.
Don’t Install Apps From Untrusted Sources
Ratings don’t always tell the whole story of an app. No matter how good the ratings are for an app, only download them from a trusted source. For the vast majority of mobile users, that means you should only install apps to your phone from the Google Play Store or the App Store.
It’s also a good idea to start reading the list of permissions that apps require and the fine print in their description box. That way you’ll have a better understanding of what an app can and can’t do. That’s usually a good practice while trying to decide whether or not you should install an app you don’t know much about.
ConclusionThe simplest way to know if your iOS or Android phone has a virus is to get an antivirus product and run some scans. Sometimes, that isn’t possible. In that case, you should go through the tips we’ve shared above to ascertain if your phone has a virus.
As mentioned before, there are several methods to get a virus off of your phone, but it’s best to make sure that you don’t get one in the first place. Regardless of your operating system, you can get viruses through malicious apps fairly easily. Once phones get viruses, you have to do a bit of work to remove malicious apps.
Don’t forget to use the comments section below to let us know if we missed your favorite tip for a phone infected with malware or which of our tips finally enabled you to detect malware on your phone irrespective of your operating system.