Protecting your smartphone against malware is as important as guarding your home computer against unwanted threats. Anti-malware apps are becoming increasingly popular as a way to prevent unwanted applications from installing. While malware infections are not as common on Apple iPhones as Android-based devices, an anti-malware application is recommended for both.
Symptoms of Malware
Here are some tips on how to tell whether your smartphone might be infected with malware:
According to USA Today, several signs and symptoms can begin to emerge when a smartphone is infected with malware. Common signs and symptoms include increased data usage, apps that randomly shut down, and an increase in the amount of pop-ups.
Other symptoms are unknown apps you don’t remember installing, unusual billing charges for text messages or data use, and a battery that suddenly drains faster than it did in the recent past.
While some of these symptoms can be due to the age of the device or hardware failures, it is always best to scan the device with an anti-malware application.
Locating and Installing Anti-Malware Apps
Before you install an anti-malware application, check to see if your smartphone already has one installed. You can verify this in your phone’s app settings and looking at the list of installed apps. If your phone does not currently have an anti-malware app, Android users can locate and install anti-malware apps from the Google Play Store.
Simply open up the Play Store app from your smartphone and type in “antimalware” in the search bar. Choose one of the options from the search results. Keep in mind some anti-malware apps are free, while others require payment. Consider the app’s average rating, the reputation of its developer, and its capabilities.
Apple iPhone users can find available anti-malware apps in the App store.
While it is fairly easy to remove a malware infection by resetting the device and erasing all of its content, prevention helps you avoid the potential hassle of losing content or disinfecting backed up content. Online industry publications contain recommendations for compatible anti-malware apps.
A guaranteed method of removing malware from an infected smartphone is to reset it back to its factory settings. Please keep in mind that performing a factory reset will erase all of the content on the device. You may need to back up your data beforehand.
From most Android devices, you can open up the device’s settings menu, and then select “system” or “general management.” Under “system” or “general management” you will see a “reset” option. Select “reset” and then “factory reset.”
The process of resetting an iPhone works in a similar fashion. Access the settings menu, select “General,” “Reset,” and “Erase All Content and Settings.”
If you don’t want to reset your phone, you can always run an anti-malware program to remove unwanted or suspicious apps. You can also perform this process manually by putting the phone into safe mode.
Do you currently use an anti-malware app on your smartphone? Let us know in the comments below!