How to detect and remove a virus from your Android phone | Avast
Real-time synchronization with SophosLabs ensures that your mobile device is always protected from the latest malware and online threats — just like with our enterprise products. Specifically designed for Android, Sophos Mobile Security identifies malicious or potentially unwanted applications that could result in for example data theft, data loss, and excessive network usage costs. If your device is lost or stolen, a remote lock or wipe will shield your personal information from prying eyes.
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In part 2 of our ongoing series, we take a closer look at the murky world of Android viruses, how they can infect your smartphone, and what you can do to amp up its immunity against them. The first mobile virus Back in the day, the mobile virus was considered somewhat of a myth: However, this illusion of safety was shattered in after a Czech Republic and Slovakian group called 29a created a virus called Cabir and sent it as a proof-of-concept to several professional cybersecurity labs.
In the aftermath, more dangerous iterations have surfaced. Some of these include: Skull imagery installs as a theme package, but the file goes on to disable programs and applications.
It also turns all the icons on the phone into Jolly Roger or jigsaw images. Many such threats have emerged since smartphones have become popular, and many more continue to surface every day. Since cybercriminals are constantly coming up with new ways to trick users into installing their malware, your best bet is understanding how these threats operate.
Types of mobile viruses Android viruses come in many flavors, each with its own quirks and entry vectors designed around a certain vulnerability. The following are the most common: Spyware comes disguised as legit applications, which is how the cybercriminal tries to fool the user into installing them.
Ransomware — This malicious program encrypts and locks up your important files , then offers to release them only if you pay a ransom.
Spoiler alert: They almost never release the files. But given that so many users have very important data on their smartphones, the impulse to give in and pay is strong.
Worms — These are the most aggressive type of Android phone viruses. Trojans — These piggyback on legit applications and infect your phone once it has been installed. Unlike worms, trojans need a user to install them before they can carry out their actions.
Once activated, trojans can deactivate certain applications or lock-up your phone for a certain period of time. Unfortunately, Android users are at a greater risk of contracting malware infections because there are multiple marketplaces on the web apart from the Google Play Store that distribute Android apps.
Some are secure sites, others are not. Apps on iOS are also sandboxed, meaning they cannot interact with other applications or with the OS past a certain point. Apps on Android are sandboxed, too, but to a lesser extent. That being said, iOS and Android users are susceptible to phishing attacks through email or even through SMS messages.
Using an antivirus solution like Avast Mobile Security will go a long way toward ensuring your devices are never compromised. How can you tell if your phone has a virus Knowing whether your phone has been infected can get tricky, but certain Android virus symptoms stick out like a sore thumb. However, if you find multiple apps crashing far too frequently, you might be dealing with an Android phone virus. But what if the same happened after your phone has been just sitting in your pocket the whole day?
Might be time for a checkup. But if they start popping up when there are no apps running, then the ugly truth may be that you have an adware infection. Such an oversight can prove costly as you might inadvertently give a fake app the keys to your phone kingdom. Infected applications — The most common MO of hackers, popular applications are repackaged with the malware and then distributed through app stores. Oftentimes, cyber-criminals will come up with completely new applications designed specially to trick users into installing them.
Simply clicking on an ad can trigger a virus download, infecting the device. Simply visiting the page can start a virus downloading to the phone unless it is protected by an antivirus software. This is the stuff of much high-profile corporate espionage. Running a trusted antivirus app What exactly makes an antivirus app trustworthy? For that matter, what makes one antivirus app any better than another and what features, if any, are worth paying for?
The last thing you want to do is jeopardize your own device in an attempt to do the exact opposite. Your best bet is to hop onto Google Play and search for an antivirus app that way. But keep in mind that antivirus apps are common – so common that there might be virus-ridden malware applications hiding inside them. On multiple occasions, hackers have created fake pages or distributed links via social media channels to malware masquerading as seemingly legitimate antivirus apps.
This makes it critical to Many of them will advertise a free version to boot. These organizations independently test antivirus apps and publicly post the results to help consumers make informed decisions about which antivirus app they ultimately download.
The free Avast Mobile Security for Android always earns high marks. Avast Mobile Security for Android, for example, will protect against against viruses, malware and spyware. It will also scan apps to sniff out trojans and other infections. The benefits of purchasing a paid version vary between developers. Add-on functions might include app lock, which lets the user require a PIN, fingerprint or other authentication token in order to access sensitive applications.
Other for-pay features may include a VPN and the ability to access geo-restricted content. For the intents and purposes of the casual, everyday user, though, a robust, free antivirus app should do the trick. Pro tip: Go with an antivirus app that automatically updates virus definitions. How to remove a virus from Android phones So, your worst fears have been confirmed, and all signs point to a virus infection. Here are some methods that will help you rid it of that pesky pest in no time.
First things first: Manually remove the virus from your phone In cases where, for whatever reason, antivirus software may prove ineffective, you can try to uninstall the malware manual: Step 1 — Put your phone into Safe Mode.
Doing so deactivates any apps from running, including malware. Some Android phones will let you Reboot in Safe-Mode, some other phones need a few extra steps to do so. The best place to start is with the apps you installed just before your phone started acting suspiciously. See if the app is featured on the list there. If it is, simply click Deactivate to remove its access privileges. Now, go back to the app in Downloaded Apps.
The Uninstall button should be tappable now. If all else fails, a factory reset might be your final option. To reset your android phone: Now tap Reset Phone. Step 2 — Enter your passcode as requested to continue. Step 3 — Reboot your phone. Step 4 — Restore any backup you made before installing the troubling app. Focus on keeping your device protected While due diligence is always advisable, you should consider adding as many layers of security as possible. An updated antivirus app such as Avast Mobile Security for Android can go a long way toward ensuring your device never gets infected.
Not only does it scan files and apps in real time for malware, but it also boosts speed by disabling unnecessary tasks.
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In part 2 of our ongoing series, we take a closer look at the murky world of Android viruses, how they can infect your smartphone, and what you can do to amp up its immunity against them. The first mobile virus Back in the day, the mobile virus was considered somewhat of a myth: However, this illusion of safety was shattered in after a Czech Republic and Slovakian group called 29a created a virus called Cabir and sent it as a proof-of-concept to several professional cybersecurity labs. In the aftermath, more dangerous iterations have surfaced. Some of these include:
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