As the days go by, Android mobiles are becoming smart and efficient as much as a PC, and we often use them more often than we use our laptops. Whether it’s using social media apps like WhatsApp & Facebook, or important business like checking mails & saving documents, Android is the device we can always reach out to. In this given scenario, it becomes an urgent necessity to put attention to the cybersecurity of the smartphone as much as our laptop or PC.
The nature of Android operating system is so that there are less scopes of virus attacks. But again, you can never take a chance with the security of all your personal files. Even, your Android phone call data and emails can get hacked if you enter into a wrong link intended for malicious cyber activities. A handy antivirus app for Android can save you from the trouble and the harassment it costs.
Viruses are a type of malware that can attack certain electronic devices and alter the way they function. Viruses can also attack android devices, and these attacks are dangerous because a virus can be used to steal data and commit fraudulent activities.
Android devices can get a virus from installing infected applications and downloading infected files. Using public WiFi connections, clicking suspicious links and ads can lead to a virus being downloaded onto your android device. These viruses are created for malicious reasons and to steal your data.
In this article, we will highlight the types of viruses that can attack your android device. We will list the signs that will show your device has been infected with a virus. Importantly, we will explain how to remove a virus from an android device and how to protect your android device as well.
Common viruses that can attack your Android device
Different viruses can affect your android device. However, there are two common types of viruses that affect mobile devices.
1. Spyware : This is a type of virus that is designed to identify and steal your personal information. Spyware can be hidden in files and applications. When infected apps are installed; they begin to gather data. After acquiring the data, the virus sends the data to a designated recipient. The information that the virus transmits to the recipient is usually used for fraudulent reasons. Spyware can be used to acquire credit card, bank account and log in details.
2. Ransomware : Unlike spyware, ransomware does not gather and transmit data. Ransomware is designed to identify and lock important data on the android device. The virus can be used to change the security code or pin of the android device. You will be asked to pay a ransom to gain access to your files or device.
Well, these are just common virus that can easily attack Android phones around phones. Other numerous: Godless, Shedun, Hummingbad, Gunpoder, Cloned and Copied apps, and many others.
Signs that your android device has been infected by virus
When your android device has a virus, your device may begin to malfunction. Below are some signs that your android has a virus.
1. Increased pop-up adverts : If your device has a virus, you may notice that pop up ads appear from questionable websites often. These ads may appear while you are browsing but may also appear when applications on your device are closed.
2. Slow operation of the device : Android devices with a virus may begin to lag when performing operations. The device may also take more time to boot. This lengthy processing and booting time is caused by some viruses that make the operating system perform the same tasks repeatedly. Making it fast won’t just solve the problem.
3. Malfunctioning apps: An android app can crash because of insufficient storage space or the absence of a recent update. However, application crashes should not be a regular occurrence. If your apps crash constantly, your device may have a virus that is causing this malfunction.
4. Increase in data usage : If your data usage has increased drastically even though you have not changed your internet use habits, your device may have a virus. Some virus-infected applications download data and send data to the creator of the virus. Therefore, even while you are not using your phone, data is still being used.
5. Quick draining battery : There are a few reasons why your battery drains quickly. Your device’s battery may drain quickly because you have multiple apps open at a time or because you installed a malfunctioning application. However, a virus could also affect the battery. Some viruses force your device to repeat operations. Hence, your device is in operation even when you are not using it. Because of this, the battery of the device will drain relatively quickly.
6. Slow loading apps: The operation of your android device may slow down when it has a virus. Hence, apps will take longer to launch. Furthermore, if the virus is in an application that is running in the background, it will slow down the processor of the device.
7. Increased phone bill : Some viruses send messages using your device, and this will cause an unexplained increase in your phone bill. To confirm if a virus is responsible for the increased phone bill, contact your service provider and inquire about the increased phone bill.
8. Presence of strange apps on the device: If you notice that an app that you did not install on your device is installed, your android may have a virus. Immediately you notice these apps, uninstall them and run an antivirus scan. These strange apps are dangerous and could be used as a tool to steal data. These apps may also cause an increase in your data usage.
9. Overheating phone: If your phone has just started overheating, you may have installed a malfunctioning app or an app that has a virus. An infected app that is always working in the background can make your phone overheat.
How to remove a virus from your Android device
If your android device has shown signs of a virus attack, there is no need to panic. There are a few ways to remove a virus from an android device.
1. Locate and delete the virus manually
This method is only applicable if you know the application or file with the virus. If your phone started malfunctioning after installing an app or downloading a file, delete the infected document.
To delete an infected file or application, you should follow the steps listed below.
i. Switch your android device to safe mode. Putting your device in safe mode will stop applications from working. If the file that has the virus is an application, the safe mode setting will render the virus inactive.
ii. In the menu of your device, go the ‘ settings ’. Find all the apps that you installed on the device and uninstall the applications that you suspect are responsible for the virus attack. We recommend that you also delete any related application files that may be in your file manager.
In a few cases, you may be unable to delete the infected application. If you are in this scenario, review the permissions that you granted to the affected application. Deactivate any permission given to the app, then try and uninstall the application again. However, if you are not sure which app or file carries the virus, you can try the other methods on this list.
2. Use an antivirus to identify and delete the virus
If you have an antivirus app, run an in-depth scan of your device. The scan will show the suspicious files or applications on your device. The app may also provide you with options on how to deal with the infected files. The best action is to delete the infected files.
In some cases, the antivirus app may identify the virus, but you will have to delete the infected file or files manually. Some good Anti-virus app includes the following: TrNorton security, Kaspersky Mobile Antivirus, and others.
3. Perform a factory reset
Performing a factory reset is the last resort. When you complete a reset, all the data on your phone will be deleted, and the factory settings will be restored. If you back up your data regularly, you can proceed with a factory reset.
Alternatively, If you have valuable information on your android device, send the information to a device with a reliable antivirus. Do not send data to a device, laptop or computer if it does not have a working antivirus.
Afterwards, perform the factory reset on your android device. Immediately your android device is working correctly, download and install an antivirus.
How to prevent your android device from getting viruses
While you can get rid of viruses or malware, preventing virus attacks will save you a headache. If you follow the tips in the list below, you will be able to protect your device and reduce the possibility of a virus attack.
1. Install an antivirus on your device
This is the first and most important step you should take if you want to avoid virus or malware attacks. There are numerous free antivirus applications available in the Google Play Store. We suggest that you install the best-reviewed antivirus and if necessary, you can upgrade to a paid version.
Installing an antivirus will prevent your android device from getting a virus. Antivirus can also help you find and eliminate any viruses or malware that are on your android device.
Some antivirus applications offer internet security; If this is an option on the antivirus you have installed, you should activate this option. This will ensure that your phone does not get a virus from an internet page that you opened or content that you downloaded.
Ensure that the antivirus you install on your device is from a reputable company and has excellent reviews. A virus can be hidden in an antivirus application.
2. Be cautious when opening email attachments
Viruses can be sent to your android device via email. The email may contain a link or an attachment. Usually, the text of the email will contain words encouraging or even coercing you to click the link or open the attached file. However, if you do not know the sender of the email, do not open the attachment. If you do not have an antivirus, you must exercise caution in this instance.
Importantly, some of these emails may come from a sender like PayPal, eBay, Amazon, or Google. Crosscheck that the email address of the sender is accurate before opening any attachments.
3. Install apps from Google Play store
Viruses can be hidden in phone applications or games. When individuals install the infected application, their android device will get the virus. To prevent this from occurring, we recommend that you install apps from known and trusted sources that are available in the Google Play Store.
If the application you wish to install is not available in the Google Play Store, you may be tempted to install a version from an unknown source. Before you install the app,
run your antivirus first to ensure that the application is free of viruses.
Importantly, even when you download from the store, you should be cautious. Avoid cloned apps as they may be carriers of a virus. If you want to download an application that has five versions on Google Play Store, install the version from a known source.
4. Do not use public WiFi connections
If you use public WiFi connections; your android device is at risk of getting a virus. The chances of this occurring are heightened if the WiFi connection has no security and be used by any individual within range. If an individual with an infected computer or android device connects to the same network, they can infect other devices connected to the WiFi.
To prevent a virus attack when you connect to a public WiFi connection, install an antivirus and use a VPN .
5. Limit the permissions given to Applications
When you are installing an app on your android device, you may be asked to grant the app permission to access your contacts, camera or messages. Unless it is necessary for the app to work, limit the permission given to the app. Furthermore, if you need to provide the app with access to your contacts or messages, first verify the safety of the application.
7. Update your Android on regular basis
Keep your android updated to ensure that any bugs that threaten the security of your device will be fixed with updates. Google usually releases new Android version every year, the new Android OS constantly have their own updates, which usually security threats, that is essential for every device.
In conclusion, with all the data transfer conducted using Android devices, virus attacks are not rare. Rather than removing a virus from your android device often , we suggest that you take preemptive steps to stop or repel virus attacks.