Malware comes out to enter your android device. This is the sad and unfortunate truth: regardless of your device, getting infected with malware is a very real possibility when software installation is involved. For a long time, malware was isolated to Windows due to its dominance in the computer market, eventually moving to infect Mac and Linux computers (to a lesser extent). Now, malware presents a threat to mobile devices, including Android. Are you ready?
The direct question is, how did malware get into Android devices in the first place? After all, most users only install apps through the Play Store, and Google keeps a close eye on that to make sure malware doesn’t get in, right? Not all. Suspicious apps have been known to make it to the Play Store. Then there’s the problem of using third-party app distributors to install cracked apps, which can also result in malware. This, in turn, can cause your phone to download unwanted content and increase your data usage.
Was your Android infected without your knowledge? If so, how can you clean your device from this dirt? And how can you keep yourself protected in the future?
Signs of an Android Malware Infection
Just like on a computer, there are several warning signs that can alert you to a malware infection on your Android device. The bottom line is: if something starts acting out of the ordinary and you haven’t made any significant changes to your device, the problem may be malware-related.
Unexplained use of data. A lot of malware exists to collect data: account details, credit card numbers, contact lists, etc. Once it has this information, the malware application needs to relay it back to whoever created the malware – and in most cases, this transfer of information will result in odd spikes in data usage.
Poor phone performance. Depending on the age of your device and the severity of the malware infection, your phone’s performance may take a hit. If you’re experiencing throttling, you may have a malware infection – especially if a reboot doesn’t alleviate the problem.
Reduce battery life. Since most malware is designed to sit in the background and run all day, you may notice a decrease in your battery life. More severe cases of malware will kill your battery faster than mild cases.
Phone call dropped. Sometimes your calls will stop due to poor service. Other times, the culprit could be malware interference. Often, poor service will be the right answer, but when you start dropping more calls than usual, it could be an indication of malware.
Removing Malware From Android
360 Mobile Security: 360 can scan your device, either manually or automatically, and provides protection based on its constantly updated threat cloud database. It can detect vulnerabilities in your device and optimize your settings. It’s fast, to the point, and effective – not to mention the fact that it has one of the most beautiful app interfaces I’ve ever seen. For an in-depth look, check out the Erez 360 Mobile Security review.
avast! Mobile Security: avast! can scan your device manually or on a schedule. While browsing, it will detect and block malware-infected links, and it will monitor all incoming and outgoing traffic for threats. Other advanced features include anti-theft measures, built-in firewall, and SMS/call filtering.
AVG AntiVirus Security: The AVG application will scan all new files and applications for potential threats, including malware, spyware and viruses. On top of that, it can identify insecure settings and provide tips for entering security holes. There are also some advanced features, such as traffic monitoring and anti-theft measures.
Keeping Your Android Malware Free
Check app reviews. When you find a new app to download, always read reviews first. If the app is having issues, some reviews will take note of it and you can move on. If the app doesn’t have any reviews, you may want to leave it blank until it’s completely finished.
Check the developer’s track record. OK, so let’s say there’s an app that you really want but there are no reviews about it and you don’t want to wait. You can always check the developer’s other apps to see if they have a reputable track record. If this is their first app, you are back to square one and your best bet is to be safe than sorry.
Be wary of third-party app marketplaces. In fact, all application markets have a certain level of risk to them. If the Play Store can let a few malware apps slip, then it’s safe to assume that no app market is completely secure. At the very least, stick to a reputable one like the Amazon Appstore.
Be careful when granting Superuser rights. For those of you who have rooted your Android device, make sure you limit superuser rights only to apps that you trust 100%. If you grant Super User access to every app that requests it, then you are only asking for malware to gain complete control over your device.
Run regular malware scans. This shouldn’t be a problem if you install any of the above apps as they all have the ability to schedule scans. But whatever you choose to use, be sure to make a routine out of scanning, whether it’s once a day or once a week.
Now, don’t panic. Many happy Android users have gone years without ever experiencing malware, so it’s not like you’ll find it around every corner just waiting for your jump. However, it is always good to be careful when it comes to security and it is better to know it than to whisper in ignorance. Watch and keep your Android device safe
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