Kim Barloso

How do I know if there are viruses on my phone?


Mobile phones have long since replaced computers in the device market, with the problems of the "big brother" alas remaining in place. The fact is that virus creators are taking a hard look at Android smartphones and tablets, and the amount of malware for the mobile platform is worrying.

Content :

  1. The most dangerous Android viruses
  2. Is my phone infected?
  3. How to protect yourself from viruses
  4. How to remove viruses

The most dangerous mobile viruses

There are many types of malware and they differ in terms of risk:

  • Viruses, Trojans and worms, settling on mobile smartphones and tablets, delete /files, encrypt data, transmit /files to the Internet without the user's knowledge;
  • Spyware, incl.
  • Spyware, including keyloggers: they record user's activity and make it available to intruders. The main danger is confidential data leakage (passwords, account numbers, photos and video from the camera)
  • Popup ads are annoying banners that cannot be disabled. These viruses do not pose a large threat but they do significantly degrade the user experience, slowing down the mobile device.

In general, the objective of any malware is to attack the target device by finding a vulnerability, a gap in the system. Viruses not only corrupt /files but also steal sensitive information. The most malicious viruses block access to the operating system of a smartphone and extort money to unlock it.

Checking if there's a virus on my phone

If your phone is behaving strangely, it's cause for concern. Consistently check the checklist to see if similar symptoms are observed on your smartphone.

1. Adware pop-ups

If you have not installed any paid-for app but your banners and popup windows have started popping up by themselves, this might be an indication that you have a virus infection.

Some adware viruses (like Adware.MobiDash) display link windows on your screen. Clicking on the URL takes you to an insecure site from which an apk-file is downloaded and the mobile device becomes infected.

2. A noticeable increase in Internet traffic

Many mobile viruses actively use the Internet for data transfer, which leads to an increase in traffic consumption. Therefore we recommend to check the statistics as soon as possible through the Android settings: "Settings" - "Connections" - "Data usage" - "Mobile traffic".

If you notice a significant difference compared to your Internet activity, this is a signal that malware are active on your smartphone.

Most of the damages for the operating system and the user data may lead to increased financial costs, especially if your operator's tariffs are "biting".

3 Unauthorized access to the Internet

In addition to consuming traffic, viruses connect to wi-fi, to the mobile network without asking anything, changing the phone settings as desired. While you chide yourself for forgetting to disable mobile data roaming once again, the virus will harm your phone at your own expense.

4. Increased mobile call and texting charges

Mobile viruses have learned to call and text on behalf of the user. Request a call record (printout) from your mobile provider. Check that all the numbers are familiar to you. Also check the text of outgoing text messages / sms.

5. Fast battery drain

Viruses performing their activities, similarly to other programs, actively consume the battery capacity. If battery consumption has increased and the battery drains quickly, it is a sign of a virus infection.

Check the applications that consume the battery: Settings - Optimization - Battery. Data for each application and process are available here.

You may not always track the activity of viruses through battery statistics: The particularly crafty ones cover their tracks and disguise themselves.

6. Lags and glitches

As already mentioned, worms, viruses, keyloggers do not hesitate to consume the phone's resources. Virus writers don't bother to optimize their programs. Therefore a small virus may slow down the mobile OS and individual applications severalfold.

A symptom of infection may be the increased frequency of glitches: applications close by itself, do not open at once or do not launch at all.

7. Appearance of unwanted applications

Viruses mask themselves and embed themselves in other applications. If you have downloaded software from sources other than the official Google Play store, there is a risk of installing additional malware that may be difficult or impossible to remove without a hard reset.

How to protect yourself from viruses: simple rules

You should follow the basic security rules to avoid infecting your phone. It is easy to do so, just follow the rules listed below.

1. A good effective anti-virus or firewall does not hurt.

Check your mobile phone regularly for viruses. You don't have to have apps running all the time and straining your device's resources - you can do a comprehensive antivirus check several times a month and use online antiviruses in addition.

The best mobile antiviruses rating for 2018.

2. When downloading apps from third-party resources, don't rely on ratings and reviews (they may be written by bots). The main proven source is Google Play, download applications only from there. However, even from Google Play it is possible to catch a virus (although the risks are low).

3. Android is initially protected from installing third-party (unverified) applications. So if you have this feature disabled, turn it back on.

4. Don't click on dubious ads on the internet. Some links may lead to malware applications. A harmless program may hide a dangerous threat to your phone.

5. Do not follow links in e-mails, messages from strangers offering you something. Links may lead to phishing sites where one content hides something else - in particular, viruses.

6. Always install the latest security updates on your phone (your phone does this automatically by default). This applies to both Android OS and apps. Updating all at once is easy via Google Play.

What to do if viruses are already on your phone

1. Install antivirus and check all memory areas for malware.

2. If viruses are detected, the first thing to do is to enable airplane mode so that malicious applications cannot transfer data to the Internet.

3. Check for unfamiliar or unnecessary applications among the recently installed ones. Delete unnecessary applications.

4. Perform a factory reset by making a backup of the /files you need. Note that this is most often the fastest and safest way to get rid of viruses.


There is no need to be paranoid about virus threats. The most important thing is to keep an eye on the security of your mobile device. The first step is to check if there are viruses on your phone, right now.

We hope you have taken basic virus protection measures and your smartphone is no longer in danger. If nothing has helped and they have infiltrated your mobile device, email us. Describe your symptoms in detail - and we'll tell you what you can do to get rid of the malware.

“Hello. My name is Kim. I discovered that technology, when used with a purpose, can be pretty amazing. To share the wonder of tech, I’ve written for blogs like and With over three years of freelance writing experience in the technology and entertainment niche, I can write a storm about a software app, a cool browser extension, a new mobile device and other geek-centric stuf... “

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Kim Barloso