Malware, or malicious software, is present in every device, in every operating system. At best, it’s just a minor annoyance, and at worst, it can do serious damage to your computer and possibly take all your precious data. People still hold the belief that only Windows can be affected. That used to be true due to its prominence, but with Linux and Mac becoming more prominent, it can affect those as well. But it doesn’t stop at computers. It can affect your mobile devices, and if you have an Android, you may be at risk.
So how does malware even get on the device? The main place to get your apps is through the Google Play Store, and all apps there are clean, right? Unfortunately, mistakes happen, and some apps do squeeze through security and make it to the store. If you have a cracked phone, you’re even more at risk, as you can install third party apps, which could have malware in it.
Your Android could be infested in malware, and you wouldn’t know it. So how do you find and get rid of malware, and how can you make sure that malware never rears its face on your device again?
Signs of Malware
A device is not much different than a computer with the fact that it is possible to know if malware is on your computer. We all know if something seems weird, and you know you haven’t done anything to your device to change that, it could be malware. These common signs include:
Malware can be used to gather your data, and when it does, it sends it back to the person who sent it there in the first place. Doing this causes data usage to go up. If you see strange increases in data usage when you know you haven’t done anything to cause that, it could be a sign of malware.
Performance Isn’t as Good
While your phone’s performance can go down due to age, if your new phone is performing at a snail’s pace, and everything seems fine otherwise, it could be a sign of malware. Try rebooting it. If the problem doesn’t go away, all signs point to malware.
Poor Battery Life
Again, battery life decreases with time. But if your battery doesn’t last at all and your phone is new, this could be a sign of malware. The malware works hard in the background to gather your data constantly, and of course, that means that naturally, your battery
If you keep getting your calls dropped, and both sides have good service, it could be a sign that malware is trying to interfere. Once again, you should make sure that it’s the service’s fault before you judge. If you keep getting your calls dropped, however, and your service is great, it could be a sign of a problem.
So How Do You Remove Malware?
On a computer, the best way to remove malicious software from your desktop would be to install a malware remover. So how do you do it on an Android? The same way! There are apps out there that can remove your malware. But make sure you install a trustworthy one and not one that can ironically give you more malware. We have you covered when it comes to making choices. Here are some you can download with no charge to you.
Avast! Mobile Security:
This app manually searches through your device, or you can set it up to schedule regular scans. It keeps you covered always! When you’re browsing, it pushes malware links away, and it’s always on the lookout for threats. In addition to that, it filters your SMS and calls, has a firewall, and includes measures to prevent theft.
360 Mobile Security:
Just like the previous app, this one can scan manually or automatically. It has a cloud database where it lists threats, so you’re always updated. Not only does its interface look pleasing, but it’s very fast. You won’t even be aware you were even hit with malware after it’s through with it.
AVG AntiVirus Security:
Here’s another great one. This one scans all files and apps you download and points out if they have anything suspicious on it. In addition, it’s like a mother to you, telling you how you can fix security flaws and make your Android’s security as tight as possible.
How Do I Prevent Malware From Happening?
Like a computer, to prevent malware 100% of the time, you have to abstain from using the Internet, not download anything, and not plug it into any device. Of course, you’d have to be insane to want to do that. There are more sensible methods out there to decrease your chances for getting malware, and that includes:
Read the Reviews
If the app doesn’t have reviews, wait until it does have some, and if people point out flaws, it may be a sign that it’s malware. Note that some developers post fake reviews in order to trick you. If you see a bunch of five star reviews that seem a bit suspicious, and then a one star review pointing out that it’s malware, tread lightly.
Research the Developer
If there are no reviews and you can’t wait, you should see if the developer has other apps that have had a good reputation. Once again, you need to make sure to avoid fake reviews. If this is the first app they’ve made, then you should wait.
Beware of Third-Party Markets
We’re not saying you should avoid them entirely, but all app markets can have their malware. If you’re going to use a third-party market, use the Amazon Appstore, as that’s the most trustworthy out of them all. Third-party apps can be great, but some can do some horrible damage to your device.
Don’t Grant Superuser Access Unless You Fully Trust the App
Blindly granted the apps access to everything is no good, especially if you’re using a rooted device. While many apps need access to function, only do it to apps from companies you trust. By granting access to suspicious apps, you’re just begging to get infected.
Perhaps the most important thing you should do is have a weekly scan of your device. In order to do this, just download one of the apps we’ve mentioned, and make sure to schedule a scan to whenever you feel like it.
Don’t Be Paranoid
While you should be wary of malware, you shouldn’t be on the lookout all the time. Plenty of people have never gotten malware, and it’s not a constant threat. But it can happen, and it’s always good to have security measures in check. Download a scanner, don’t download anything suspicious, and you should be good.