Mobile malware and viruses are on the rise as phones have transformed from their old analogue make into mini-computers in your pocket. This has transformed the purpose of phones, from just call services to handling all sorts of functions in people’s lives.
Phones can now process more information than the first computers to send people to the moon!
More and more people are turning to their phones for essential functions including banking, working and personal data in the form of media and online information. Hackers have taken the opportunity to finesse their android attack games, coming up with newer and better ways of attacking your android device for information or ransomware.
Naturally, antiviruses have also sprung up, with most phones coming with a form of protection from hackers and malware.
So how do you run a virus check on your android device? Well, it is an easy task, one you can get done in a minute or less! On this article, you will learn how to scan viruses, remove, or quarantine them.
Let’s take a look!
What are Android Viruses?
Both computer and android viruses will cause havoc on your device, causing performance problems, loss of data, unnecessary ads and more. However, the main difference between a computer and android virus is that computer viruses can replicate while android viruses don’t.
Also, Android devices can only get infected through corrupt software, whereas computers can get direct virus attacks. The effects are similar for both cases, and each will end up with a loss of vital data, or you might end up with a ruined device.
Various forms of malware affect android viruses in different ways. You can lose your data through spyware, which will sell it to advertisers. Have you ever wondered why you start getting ads based on what you were searching for on the internet? You can also get some ransomware where the hackers will encrypt your files and ask for a fee to decrypt them.
The easiest and most common way an android device will get a virus is through an app. The apps will most likely hide in a third party shop and sneak into your device as you surf through such sites. They have also found their way into Google paly, and you may be surprised to have one in your phone, yet you didn’t directly download it.
For most Android devices, the additional antivirus is an added advantage; something like AVG antivirus may be of vital assistance.
Due to the way androids platform updates are rolled out, most users are usually susceptible to viruses.
The company works in a collaborative manner, where after the parent company releases an update, they will first run it through other companies using their system, who in turn, will roll them out to the market. This is done to make companies like Samsung, HTC and more to make the updates more suitable for their phones.
It’s a great idea; the only downside is the time it takes to get necessary updates that the phone. Up to date only around 1% of android users are using the latest OS Oreo, with some manufactures still to confirm whether the update will feature on their devices.
The longer the phone lacks updates, the more hackers learn to get around them, with new viruses.
How To Tell Your Android Device has A Virus
Due to the nature of viruses, it may be hard for users to know when they downloaded a virus, or whether they did it even. It is, therefore, paramount for users to be aware of specific problems that may indicate the presence of a virus.
Most viruses will sneak into the device and lay low until you unknowingly activate it,
So, how are some of the ways the phone will behave for you to know there is a virus?
Increased Data Usage
If you notice a recent difference in the uptake of data deviate from normal, then there might be a virus in the device using your data. Viruses’ may try to use your internet to send information out of your phone.
Excessive App Crashing
It is normal for an app to crush from time to time.
If you find that your phone is often crashing and for no reason, then it might have some virus in it that is affecting the performance of the phone.
Add pop-ups are a normal occurrence, as some apps and websites come with the inclusion of additional pop-ups. You can easily block pop-up ads with just a simple add blocker or the opera browser app.
However, at times, even after blocking pop up ads, you still find them coming up, or increased in number.
It is a good sign of a virus within the device.
Unexplained Increase in Phone Bills
Some malware will send expensive messages from your phone, which will be credited to your bill. Trojans such as Ztorg Trojans have been known for these kinds of attacks.
Have you noticed some apps you didn’t directly install? As previously stated, some apps may sneak from third party sites, or piggyback on other apps as you install them. If you find some unfamiliar apps, then you must have some malware in your device.
Battery Drains Fast
Malware tends to take a toll on the battery life due to the toll they take on the phone.
If you happen to notice your phone draining faster than usual, while it is not under heavy use, then you must have some malware in the device.
Your phone may overheat for several reasons. If you are overusing the phone or placed it on a hot surface, then it may overheat, however, another reason for overheating is malware and virus threats. Due to the number of activities that they add on the phone, they may result in overheating of the phone.
What you should look for, to tell whether the device has a virus is an overheating phone that is mainly idle and safely stored.
Android Virus Scan – Apps versus Android Devices
The biggest threat for android devices is apps, which come with malware and viruses attached to it. This malware then starts executing attacks on the phone that turn your life upside down.
Malware has been known to install rootkits, which gave hackers control of devices, giving them the ability to access your android devices and even install more viruses.
Some of the things an infected phone can provide for hackers include
- Subscribing your device to premium services which the bill you huge amounts of money.
- Record your messages and phone conversations and also send them to the hackers
- Charge you illegally through compromised apps they have installed in your device to collect personal information from your device.
- Get into the whole phone system through rootkits
- Install ransomware
How to Scan and Remove Viruses from Your Phone
If you happen to notice your phone behaving abnormally, then you will have to carry out a virus scan. There are a couple of ways for you to remove viruses from your phone.
How to Do a Virus Scan on Android
Use Apps from Google Play
There is several apps you can download off Google play which will run a virus scan on your device.
Most apps will need you first to download them.
You will then just tap on the scan button after the app has successfully installed in your android device.
Wait for the app to run the scan, after which you can tap on the resolve button to either quarantine or delete the malware and viruses.
Manually Uninstall Corrupted Apps
One of the best ways to identify manually the apps causing havoc to your phone is through running it in safe mode. If the phone does not have a problem while in safe mode, it means that the culprit is a third-party app; this is because the safe mode will turn off all third-party apps.
After running the phone in safe mode, you will have to navigate to the app and notifications tab on the manage apps setting. Check all the downloaded apps for a suspicious app. The rule of thumb here is if you don’t remember downloading it then it is most likely a source of the problem.
Go back to your settings tab and under the security option and choose administrator permissions, after which you can uninstall any malicious apps.
Other ways to keep your Android devices free from malware and viruses
· Update Your Version of Android
Try to keep your android device on the latest updates available.
Go to the settings menu on your phone and choose the system updates option from the advanced tab on the phone. Here you will see the device’s status on updates. You can choose to scan for recent updates or find the phone to be on the current update available.
· Install an Anti-Virus Software
Most Android devices will come with a means of protection from viruses; however, additional protection is always better and it will help keep your phone secure.
Antiviruses will work in the background of your device, ensuring everything runs smoothly, blocking threats, removing malware, and warning you in case of accessing compromised websites.
Antiviruses may also come with the options for anti-theft, which will help keep your banking transactions safe from hackers who may steal your money of information. Other features that may come with antiviruses are thief cams that capture the image of people who fail the PIN attempts more than thrice.
You may also get a battery optimization option, which may help your battery last longer.
· Install Apps from Known Devices
How most android apps work is such that, if an app is unavailable in Google play, then the android device will prevent you from installing them automatically unless you authorize for the download.
Before the android version 8.0, users could opt-in to install apps from unknown sources. Currently, what you can do is permit individual apps to install any anonymous apps. Apps that come from unknown sites also carry the potential for malware and viruses.
· Restrict the Way the Device Downloads
If your android device is accessible to multiple users, you can use passwords to protect you from unnecessary downloads in the hands of other people. This can be useful for parents who want to keep their children away from apps.
· Read the App Permissions
Most people will rarely consider this; however, app permissions may leave you opening the app up for an app to access all your info, from the contacts, gallery and audio devices.
Reading the permissions info on the app, which will let you know the extent of access the app will have on the android device.
You can also maneuver to the permissions set on the phone and find out which apps you have and the extent of permissions they have on the phone.
· Be Cautious
Caution is an essential aspect of the virus and malware prevention of the phone. Ensure you do not browse o the more risky websites.
Scan emails before you open them to ensure they don’t come with malware and viruses.
Most Common Android Malware and Viruses
As you are already aware of how you scan your phone, another great question to ask yourself is which are the current viruses, and how will the android device behave if infected by these viruses.
It is essential to understand this as it will help you identify the virus faster and understand the best way to remove it from your phone.
So which are the most common android viruses currently?
This is one of the most common viruses associated with android and counts for up to 22% of the total infection rates. The virus is most common in Asia, Russia, and Europe.
The primary infection of the malware is sending premium SMS from your android devices. The virus was found in several third-party apps.
The rate of infection associated with this virus is 14%.
The virus will behave as a downloader in opera mini browse. The app will also send premium messages from your phone. The virus started attacking android devices before spreading its wings over to iPhones.
The hackers spread the virus through pop-up messages and android marketing to ensure the app was spread to as many users as possible.
This virus uses premium messages from your phone. The app was spread through a third party store in mostly Europe, Asia, Brazil, and Latin America.
4. Gin Master
This is one of the earlier viruses to be found back in 2011. The virus is also known as Ginger Master and accounts for up to 6% of the total malware infections.
The app came piggybacking of several apps and installed its root shells in the system.
The virus was created to steal vital information from the phone silently and is no surprises to realize someone stole your phone number and other details from your phone.
This is an SMS Trojan found mainly in Asia. The virus is one of the first to come with an update feature with the possibility of the contacts remove server.
The virus ill start flooding with text messages, and can send premium messages from your phone. The virus will also collect data from your device.
The app is effective as it can hide I the background and remain functional.
6. Fake Dolphin
The fake dolphin virus will add a dolphin browser to your system, and use it whenever you attempt to go online.
The virus comes with a Trojan, which will sign your devices to services without your consent.
This virus will try to access the root of your device.
The app will steal your data and information, plus it will also try and run multiple programs and also let the attacker install malicious applications to your phone.
This virus is mostly in Asia and is mostly embedded in popular apps. The app is known for stealing data and sending it to the attacker. The virus will also sniff the messages from the phone and send premium messages for a quick buck or two.
This virus behaves as a fake mobile app. The virus will pretend to be under the message client service for the ICQ network.
The virus will also send premium messages. The app is prevalent in mainly Eastern Europe.
The Best Antivirus for Android Devices
Avast is a fantastic antivirus addition for your android. An amazing thing with the app is that it comes with a great free featured app, which includes a call blocker, firewall, and even anti-theft measures.
The only downside to the app s that it comes with ads, however for a small fee, you can get the ad-free version of the app.
The app also comes with an in-app locking mechanism that will help some of the more private data away from prying hands.
The antivirus also comes with a VPN service.
How the bit defender antivirus works are such that, it will be ready to go as soon as it is installed. The app will not run in the background, meaning that the app frees up system resources.
You will not have to schedule scans, plus after installation, no extra configurations will be required.
You can also get some extra security through signing up for the 14-day trial of the bit defender mobile security. You will get to access real time protection plus anti-theft features.
If you are looking for an app full of features, then look no further.
Apart from the core features, the app will also add a Wi-Fi scanner, app lock and photo vault.
For performance enhancements, the app also comes with options for turning off battery drainage, and deletion of junk files. The antivirus will also come with anti-theft features, and tracking features in case your phone got lost.
Additional security the AVG antivirus comes with include, the ability to make a stolen phone produce a siren, take selfies of unsuccessful trials at unlocking the phone, locking down the phone if someone wants to change the SIM card.
More features come with the antivirus, and with over 4.5 score rating, it is not a surprise that the app is one of the leading antiviruses in the market.
Besides the antivirus scanner, the app will also track, lock, and wipe a stolen device.
The app also has the capability of checking other apps on whether they are leaking sensitive information. The app will also block malicious sites, create, and keep your blacklisted callers and texters at bay.
The Kaspersky antivirus plays up there with the best in the market. The antivirus comes with a detection rate of 99.9%, according to AV-TRIALS.
Some of the antivirus features involve blocking malicious sites, preventing infections and simplifying security management.
The app comes with several plans from the free to the paid plans.
The app won the AV-TEST back in 2015.
A unique thing about the app is that it does not come with ads.
The app will carry out the common antivirus features such as scanning and blocking phishing sites from affecting the device.
As you install new apps into the device, the antivirus will scan them for malware, and will alert you in case the apps have the potential of leaking information from the phone.
The antivirus database is updated daily, while the scanner can work through scheduling.
The app also comes with a QR scanner, which can be used to set up secure Wi-Fi connections.
An android virus scan is an easy task to carry out, and dependent on how you prefer it, you can get a more hands-on approach or the more automatic approach. Ensure you regularly scan your device to help prevent any malware from affecting it. Otherwise, enjoy what your android device can offer unencumbered by viruses or malware.