How to Tell if Your Smartphone Has a Virus

The Android system is now the most popular platform for smartphone manufacturers, which has consequently made it the target of choice for viruses and malware etc. that can infect your Android phone without you even noticing.

How to Tell if Your Smartphone Has a Virus

You love your smartphone, but there may come a day you notice that something’s not quite right. Your phone might be slow or you lose battery rapidly, or maybe the call quality’s getting worse and worse. Your bill and data usage could also potentially increase.

How to identify the problem

To find out what’s happened to your smartphone you need to identify what’s not working correctly, if at all. If you’re on an old operating system your first thought might be that it’s time to get rid of your device, but it’s more likely to be some kind of attack. The first signs your Android device could be infected are:

1. Decreased battery capacity

 The battery can’t cope with the same heavy level of usage you’ve given it up until now. Surfing the internet, Google searches, Twitter and Facebook updates or uploading photos to Instagram, now deplete your battery faster than usual, meaning that you need to always have a power pack handy.

Keep an eye on your battery usage

2. Dud reception

Making calls has become a nightmare – they cut out for no reason, the signal breaks up, and other technical difficulties you automatically blame on your service provider. In this case, it’s worth considering that your phone’s been the target of an attack before you point a finger in the wrong direction.

3. Messages have a mind of their own

Your smartphone’s sending unwanted messages that hike up your phone bill, most of all because the messages are being sent to premium rate numbers, even if you know you haven’t sent a text since you discovered the world of Whatsapp.

Which messaging system do you use?

4. Phantom notifications

Your start up screen shows notifications or messages but when you go to them nothing appears. You’re so frustrated with all the time you’re wasting you don’t even notice that something’s not quite right.

5. Spike in data usage

Your data plan shows a huge amount of traffic but you’re not in the habit of regularly downloading apps, photos etc. onto your smartphone. There’s a chance someone’s hacking into your smartphone and hijacking your accounts for their own use.

Check the state of your data usage

6. Unreliable performance issues

Your smartphone’s running incredibly slowly and you constantly need to restart it for it to work normally again. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and you’re sure it never did this before. It could be time to take a look at your RAM and CPU.

7. Is that cheap version of Angry Birds to blame?

If you think back to everything you’ve put onto your phone, it may help you remember a specific time you downloaded an app from an unofficial source (that is, not from Google play or the particular store your make of smartphone came with).

Only download apps from official sources

8. Adware beware!

It could be that you looked at an advert that appeared to come with a game, but was actually what’s known as adware. These adverts can persuade you to download an antivirus app, but it turns out that the app itself is a virus.

Better to be safe than sorry

It’s always worth downloading an antivirus app before installing the apps you need on your smartphone. To be safe, always remember that malicious apps can also hide out in official app stores like Google Play (or the official app store your phone came with).

One of the easiest and most effective ways to get rid of viruses or malware from your infected smartphone is to restore factory settings. If you do choose go down this route please note that you’ll need to spend some time backing up and restoring the documents and images etc. that you’ve saved on your phone. In the long run though, it’s easily worth the time and effort.