Unfortunately for smartphone users, malware and viruses aren’t exclusive to computers anymore. Hackers and cybercriminals have started to notice the proliferation of smartphones and are starting to make profits from the use of malware targeting smartphones of all varieties, hoping to collect data from you or scam you. You need to be aware that malware is out there and that there are ways of protecting yourself.
Here are a few tips to help you spot malware on your smartphone and prevent it from affecting you:
Notice If Your Phone Is Acting Strange
Something acting strangely on your phone could very well be the reason that brought you to this article. It could be screens not staying put, data not existing where it should be, or peculiar setting changes. Regardless of the specifics, if your phone is simply not acting in a natural way, then it could very well be infected by malware, especially if it is acting in ways so as to direct you to a point (link spamming your browsers or screen, possibly using popups).
If things such as this happen on your smartphone, you should first check the manual of your smartphone to see if actions such as this are automatically possible. Then you should check online to see if the actions described are common for other users. If they are, you might very well be pointed in the direction of a solution, whether it be settings changes or malware removal. Don’t forget that some basic problems can be solved by resetting your smartphone, so don’t lose hope at the first sign of trouble.
Remember Where You’ve Been
If you’re concerned about malware on your smartphone, it might benefit you to take note of where you have been with your smartphone and more importantly where you’ve connected to the Wi-Fi. Did you use an unprotected public network? If so, then it is possible hackers got to you on there and were able to access your data. While it wouldn’t be easy for them to directly plant something on your phone, they could easily get ahold of your email or another account and use that as a back door (if they don’t just steal your identity instead) for malware.
You need to cut off hackers’ access if you are going to use public networks, and for that a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is your very best option. What it does is connect your smartphone to an offsite server via an encrypted connection, masking your IP address. It also places any data you send over the network into a “tunnel” of sorts that will keep hackers completely in the dark. Your phone will be safe, and you’ll be at a greatly reduced risk of malware infiltration.
It should be noted that Android Phones are particularly susceptible to viruses and malware compared to iPhones. If you have one, you might want to read some comparisons of VPNs so that you will know which VPN is best for your greater security needs.
Take Note of the Apps You’ve Downloaded
The easiest possible way to get malware onto your computer is to download a malicious app. While app stores are generally getting better at creating a filter system that will ban or remove bad apps, some slip through or stay around long enough to do some damage. You need to make sure never to download a questionable app, and remember that some things are too good to be true. Listen to other reviews on an app. If they say it is malware, it is almost certainly malware.
If you think your smartphone has malware on it via an app, try to delete the app and see if the problem goes away. If the app is giving you problems, you might need to go online to check to see if there is anything you can do. There are very few pieces of malware that will cause your smartphone to completely crash beyond repair, so keep hope that there is a solution. The best defense, though, will always be avoidance.
Thank you for reading, and may you never have to deal with the problems that malware can create on your smartphone.