While malware is becoming a less common issue for the Android platform, it can still cause some serious damage if you aren’t able to catch it in time. If you download a lot of applications or simply use your device a lot, you may be at increased risk for malware. Malware will often cause performance issues with your phone and could even steal some of your confidential or personal data. Here are some of the major signs that your Android device could have malware installed.
Your Phone is Operating Slowly
Just like a personal computer, a slow phone is usually a sign that something has gone wrong. If your phone is operating sluggishly and you’re still using the exact same programs and carrying the same amount of data, it’s very likely that there’s a program on your phone that’s contributing to the problem. It may not even be malware; it may simply be a program that is hogging too much of your resources. Go through your programs to determine the source of the problem. If you haven’t already, you may also want to restart your phone to see if it helps.
You Notice Strange Charges on Your Bill
“Strange charges” doesn’t necessarily mean an hour-long conversation with someone in Nigeria. Strange charges could also simply include data overages that are not explained or a few text messages that you don’t remember. Malware could be transmitting data in a way that is easily noticeable if you know your data habits. A large spike in either your data or text message service could indicate that something is wrong (or that you have a teenager). Call your service provider to find out more about the charges, such as when they occurred and if there are any patterns. Remember that even applications that are not outright malicious could potentially download data in the background.
Your Phone Service Isn’t Working Right
Many malware programs may attempt to interfere with your voice service or even hijack your voice connection. If you’ve been hearing strange sounds when you’re using the phone or if you’ve been experiencing more dropped calls, something might not be completely right. You might also note that you’re getting more calls, or that you’re getting calls that are ringing your phone and then immediately hanging up when you answer.
Your Battery Isn’t Holding Charge
Is your battery running down the second you take it off the charger? This could always be a battery issue–some phones do have them, and older batteries won’t hold a charge well–but it could also mean that malware is running. Malware, when run, doesn’t just consume system resources; it also consumes energy. Before you try to replace the battery in your phone, try to run an antivirus solution.
Your Accounts Have Been Accessed
Most people sign into their email addresses, bank accounts and social media accounts from their mobile phone and some people even save their login information directly on their device. If you’ve had an account broken into recently, don’t ignore the possibility that the person who accessed your account could have gotten your information through your mobile phone. Any time you detect an intrusion on any of your accounts–regardless of how insignificant the account is–you should change all of your passwords and scan both your smartphone and your computer for any signs of malware.
“In general, any behavior that is unusual in your phone should be investigated,” says Jason Hope, tech expert (http://sens.org/outreach/outreach-blog/release-internet-entrepreneur-jason-hope-pledges-half-million-dollars-sens). “When used properly, your phone should always operate in much the same way across the board.” Remember that the best way to deal with viruses and malware is by preventing them from being installed at all. Only install applications from reputable vendors and always have an antivirus software system installed to catch anything that slips through. Viruses can be introduced through application updates, so simply scanning applications as you install them isn’t always enough to protect yourself. If you do suspect that you have a virus, immediately backup and scan your phone.
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About Author: Amy Taylor is a business and technology writer. Amy began her career as a small business owner in Phoenix, AZ. She enjoys writing about business technology trends. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking with her Alaskan Malamute, Sam.