It’s shouldn’t come as a surprise that your phone or tablet also can get infected with viruses. And if this information does sound unfamiliar to you, then you definitely need to read this article. Yes, smartphones can get malware. And yes, iPhones are prone to viruses, too. So we need to protect our portable devices.
In this article, we will go through the signs that might indicate that your gadget has been infected and the ways to protect it from future infections.
What can malware do to your phone?
There is a belief that iOS devices are less vulnerable because, unlike with Android devices, users get apps just from the official app store. But that’s not true. First of all, one can catch malware by clicking a malicious link or downloading an infected file. And secondly, despite the efforts of both Google and Apple to check each app and make sure it’s safe, there still are malicious applications in both stores. So iOS users should protect their devices, too.
Malware on portable gadgets doesn’t act as standard viruses — meaning it doesn’t multiply and infect as many files as possible. It’s much more sneaky. Here is what it can do:
- Let malefactors take control over your phone or tablet by installing a rootkit
- Charge you for clicks on fake ads
- Lock your gadget and demand a ransom
- Record your conversations
- Steal sensitive information such as passwords and bank card details
- Subscribe your account to paid services
Not very pleasant, is it? So it’s better to protect your device to avoid such issues.
How to tell your gadget is infected?
You can download a trusted antivirus and run a full scan to see if your device has any malware. But there also are other ways to tell that something is wrong:
- Your device got slower. Since malware usually uses up a lot of resources, you might notice that your gadget now needs way more time to process tasks. However, this also can be a sign of outdated hardware or issues with the operating system.
- Your battery started getting low very quickly. That might be malware that needs all those resources to perform its malicious actions. But this also might indicate that your device is just getting old.
- The gadget is overheating. This might happen because of high-demanding malware. Or, like in the cases with two previous factors, there might be an issue with your hardware.
- You see ads that are not in apps. If ads started appearing even on your home or lock screen, that’s a clear sign that you caught adware.
- There are unknown apps. If you discovered some applications you didn’t install, quite likely it's malware.
- Apps and the system are crushing. This could be a sign of issues with the operating system or certain apps. But if crashes started happening with all the apps, and you didn’t make any changes to your system recently, malware might be the cause.
- You get billed for things you didn’t buy. For example, you might see that you’ve paid for some service you don’t even know about. That might be malefactors acting on your behalf.
- The device started using more data. And you didn’t change your internet usage habits.
Cleaning an Android device from malware
There are a couple of steps to it, considering what kind of malicious software you’ve caught.
Get an antivirus
Obviously, this would be the first thing to do. Download a trusted and well-known antivirus from Google Play and let it run the full scan. It will find malicious applications and quarantine or remove them. After the viruses are gone, keep an antivirus and let it protect you in the future.
Uninstall malicious apps by yourself
If the malware you have comes in the form of apps, uninstall it manually. First of all, switch to the Safe Mode to stop applications from running silently. By the way, if the issues you’re experiencing are gone once you’ve switched to this mode, then most likely your device is infected.
Different Android devices offer different ways to enter the Safe Mode. Google what’s the method for your gadget — it’s usually easy to switch to this mode.
Once you’re in, go to Setting and find settings for apps and notifications. There you’ll see the list of all installed apps. Go through them and delete ones that you don’t remember installing or those you find suspicious.
Sometimes, malicious apps don’t offer an uninstall option. Then you will need to remove the administrator access. To do that, find the Security tab in settings and go to the option that will sound like “Device Administrators”, “Device admin apps”, or similar to these variations. Remove any apps you don’t know or find suspicious from this list. When you do that, you should be able to uninstall those stubborn apps.
Cleaning an iOS device from malware
Just like in the case with Android, there are two ways to get rid of malicious apps.
Get an antivirus
The sole fact that there are antiviruses for iOS devices should indicate that there are viruses for iOS devices. Yet, many Apple users neglect antivirus programs. So if you don’t have one, download a trusted solution from the App Store and let it run a full scan.
Use an iCloud backup
If you can remember when the issues with your device started, you can try restoring your gadget from an iCloud backup. You can find instructions on how to do that on the Apple’s website.
How to protect your device from malware
Staying safe is way easier than dealing with existing issues. Below you’ll find some tips on how to protect your gadget — they work for both iOS and Android. Remember that it’s best to use all those tips to stay truly safe.
- Don’t install apps that are not in your official app store. Even though, as we’ve mentioned, there might be harmful apps in official stores, their number is very low. Also, check the reviews before downloading an application.
- Avoid rooting or jailbreaking your device. This might make it more vulnerable to hackers.
- Think before you click on ads. They might contain malware.
- Always have an antivirus installed. It will shield you from viruses and malware.
- Use a VPN app for Android and iOS. iNinja VPN will hide your IP address and thus your device making it impossible for hackers to inject any malware through unprotected WiFi networks.
- Don’t accept files and click links sent to you by unknown users via social media, messaging apps, or email.
As you can see, protecting your device is no rocket science. Just be a bit more careful, use an antivirus and a free iNinja VPN app.