How do you know if your cell phone is infected with a virus? See tips for removing them

How do you know if your cell phone is infected with a virus?  See tips for removing them

It is possible to know if your cell phone is infected with a virus by observing some signs. Malware, typically contracted through phishing scams or fake app downloads, performs activities in the system's background, such as reproducing advertisements on a large scale or sending personal and financial data to criminals. These activities cause changes in the performance of the smartphone; It is common, for example, for the device to overheat, discharge faster, and its performance is affected. Another sign that a cell phone is infected is the presence of applications that the user has not installed before or is not aware of.

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To avoid catching viruses on your cell phone, it is important to download apps only from trusted sources, keep good antivirus software always updated and avoid clicking on suspicious links and ads. With simple good practices, it is possible to keep your cell phone secure and avoid malware infection, which often requires removing the cell phone configuration completely. With that in mind, the TechTudo I created a guide explaining how to tell if your cell phone has viruses and how to remove them. Keep reading and also check out tips to avoid invasions.

Person holding a cell phone infected with a virus – Image: Disclosure/Getty Images

📝 How to remove viruses from Android phone? Check it out on the TechTudo forum

Signs that your cell phone is infected with a virus

The presence of viruses on a smartphone will not always be obvious. However, models infected with malware often show certain signs. Here are some signs that your cell phone may be infected.

1. Sending unknown SMS messages

The first sign that your cell phone may have been invaded by a virus is the automatic sending of unknown SMS messages. The case can be identified by checking your smartphone's message list and also if someone else calls you to inform them of receiving a suspicious text message from your number. Generally, malicious messages contain phishing scams or virus-infected links, in order to infect the recipient's cell phone.

2. Unknown applications

Once the virus installs itself on a cell phone, it may be able to install other programs on the smartphone. If you suspect that your device has been compromised by malware, it is recommended to check the list of applications and make sure you download all the programs yourself. If you find an unknown application, do not open it and remove it from the system. Generally, these apps are annoying adware, but they can also be spy apps that steal personal data and banking information.

List of Android apps – Image: Mariana Saguias/TechTudo

3. Excessive advertising

Ads are commonly seen when browsing the Internet. However, cell phones invaded by viruses tend to display excessive advertisements, which is a clear sign of a smartphone being infected. To confirm your suspicions, just pay attention to whether there are pop-up ads appearing in places where ads usually aren't. In this case, the virus could automatically install adware, which is malware programmed to distribute a massive amount of advertising without the user's permission.

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More aggressive adware can hijack a device and act without the user's knowledge through suspicious activities, such as redirecting internet searches to strange search services and diverting traffic to questionable ad and content sites. In more serious cases, adware can be part of a suite of tools to hijack your smartphone.

4. Cell phone overheating

Malware often runs applications in the background on a cell phone, without the user knowing. Although this activity often goes unnoticed by the device owner, this activity overloads the processor, which can cause the device to overheat. It's worth noting that under ideal conditions, a smartphone should never be hot to the touch, but there are other factors that can contribute to heating – such as the external temperature. If you notice your cell phone overheating for no apparent reason, check for viruses in the system.

5. Bad battery

Running activities in the background not only affects the performance of the cell phone but also affects its power consumption. Once the system is overloaded with activities such as sending sensitive data and running massive advertisements, it will require more power to function. So, if your cell phone battery is draining faster than usual, it may be infected.

iPhone with low battery – Image: Freepik

6. Decreased performance

Another consequence of performing malicious activities in the background is the decreased performance of the cell phone, whose system is overloaded. So, if your smartphone takes much longer to perform actions that were previously performed quickly, be skeptical. A sudden drop in system performance may be an indication of a virus infection.

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7. Unknown amounts on the operator’s account

In many cases, viruses are used to carry out “stuffing” scams, where unwanted services are added to the phone bill without the customer's consent. In other words, bills will become higher, and the bill will contain charges that the user does not recognize. If you identify suspicious charges on your plan account, contact your carrier to learn more about this.

A man talking on his Galaxy M34 cell phone – Image: Mariana Saguias/TechTudo

8. Excessive use of mobile data

Another sign that your cell phone may have been invaded by malware is an unexplained increase in mobile Internet data usage. This is because activities such as constantly displaying ads and sending private information to users require a constant connection to the web. If you suspect excessive mobile data consumption, go into your cell phone settings and check which apps are consuming most of your data package.

If your cell phone has been invaded by viruses, know that there are ways to remove the malware and minimize the damage. In the lines below, TechTudo Lists tips on how to remove virus from Android and iPhone (iOS) mobile phones.

How to remove viruses from your cell phone? Find out what to do with your device

1. Delete recently downloaded suspicious apps

The first step to removing viruses from your phone is to identify and remove malicious apps. Carefully evaluate recently downloaded applications and check if, after downloading any of them, the system begins to exhibit strange behavior, such as crashes or high battery consumption. If so, uninstall the program. If you can't pinpoint the culprit, use app analysis tools like Google Play Protect to get a more accurate diagnosis.

2. Scan using antivirus software

Even after removing suspicious apps, it is essential to run a full scan with a reputable antivirus to ensure any remaining threats are eliminated. There are many reliable options available on the Google Play Store, such as Avast! Antivirus, Norton 360, McAfee Security, and Bitdefender. After installing the chosen software, simply run the scan and wait until the malicious files are removed. Remember to keep your antivirus software updated to ensure the best protection against the latest threats.

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3. Format the cell phone

In rare cases of severe infections that do not respond to the previous solutions, it may be necessary to format the cell phone. This option should only be considered as a last resort, as it will wipe all your data from the device. Before formatting, back up all your important information such as photos, contacts and messages. Make sure you have access to your Google account credentials to recover your data after formatting.

To configure an Android mobile phone, open the Settings menu and go to General Management. Then press “Restore” and finally choose “Restore Factory Defaults”. On iPhone, the user must access the “Settings” menu and tap on “General.” Then choose the options “Move or reset” and “Erase content and settings”.

Step by step to configure iPhone (iOS) — Image: Reproduction/Helito Bijora

How to protect yourself from viruses

The basic advice to avoid getting viruses on your cell phone is to browse the Internet carefully. When downloading apps, for example, always do so from the official Android or iOS stores and note the name of the developer to make sure you're actually downloading the official app. Also pay attention to the number of downloads: fake apps are usually downloaded by only a few people. Also remember to check out the app reviews, as many users report scams and issues in the comments field.

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Additionally, once you download apps, you need to pay attention to the permissions granted to them. In general, you should only allow access to tools that the program actually needs to function. For example, a Notepad app that requires microphone access permission should be viewed with suspicion.

Another related recommendation is not to click on suspicious links. Always be wary of messages that are alarmist or promise miraculous benefits; In general, they are bait for scams. Finally, install a good antivirus program on your cell phone and keep it updated. The program will help detect threats and keep your phone safe.

With information from PCMag that it F-safe

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About the Author: Osmond Blake

"Web geek. Wannabe thinker. Reader. Freelance travel evangelist. Pop culture aficionado. Certified music scholar."

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