As smartphones increase in popularity, so do smartphone viruses. While smartphones are generally more protected against viruses and malware than computers and laptops, they are still vulnerable to becoming infected. Contrary to popular belief, any brand of smartphone is at risk of contracting a virus. iPhones are equally as vulnerable to infection as Android phones, and even more so if the phone is jailbroken. This blog post will answer all of your questions related to smartphone viruses.
How do phones get infected?
- Bad Apps: These apps carry viruses that get inside of your phone once you download them, giving it access to your location, contacts list, text messages, email, social media accounts, and other personal information.
- Spam Emails or Texts: When you get a fishy email or text message with a link to a website, do not click it! When you open a link or other attachment, you open up your phone to viruses and malware. If your phone is already infected, your email’s spam blocker won’t work. You will get these scam emails and texts from sources disguised as people in your contacts list, which you will be more likely to open, allowing your phone to be further infected.
- Bad Websites: The easiest way for a phone to get a virus is from an internet download. Even though you may want to watch your favorite TV show online, be careful what you download, or else you risk getting a virus.
- PC Connections and Bluetooth: Computer viruses are just like viruses that humans get sick from. If your computer or laptop has a virus and you connect your phone to it, your phone can also contract a virus. Much like how viruses in real life are airborne, so are computer viruses. Phones with Bluetooth capabilities are vulnerable to catching viruses from nearby phones that are infected.
How do I protect my phone from getting a virus?
Download apps only from verified sources, such as Apple’s App Store, Google Play, or the Samsung Galaxy Store. Never download from third-party sources. Before you download an app, check the reviews and be on the lookout for other users warning about viruses.
Don’t click on pop-up ads while browsing the internet, and avoid downloading things from the internet as much as possible, unless it’s from a reputable, verified website. Never click on suspicious links that you receive in spam emails or texts. In addition, keep your phone’s operating system up to date and frequently back it up.
Lastly, you can purchase antivirus programs that are compatible with your phone. These programs scan apps, emails, texts, and file downloads. If an app or email raises a warning, the antivirus program will flag it for you and give you the option to download it or not.
How do I tell if my phone has a virus?
Some signs are easy to tell. You may notice pop-ups and invasive advertisements, or the appearance of an unfamiliar app that you know you never downloaded. Also, if people in your contacts list are receiving odd phone calls and texts from you, that means a virus is in your phone, trying to spread to others.
Other signs may not be immediately noticeable. While a fast draining battery is common, it could mean that you have a virus that’s using your battery to operate. If you’ve got unexplained charges on your cell phone bill or an increase in data usage, it could mean that a virus is using your phone to make calls and texts, and to send information. An overheating or slow phone is also a sign.
What do I do if my phone has a virus?
As soon as you notice that your phone has a virus, switch it on airplane mode so that the virus can’t send or receive data. If you notice any odd apps, uninstall them immediately. Then, do a factory reset and restore your phone from a previous backup; this can sometimes get rid of the harmful malware. Lastly, download a trusted antivirus program that’s compatible with your smartphone. If virus removal or backing up your phone doesn’t work, you may need to replace your whole phone.
You can never be too safe with your smartphone. Viruses are sneaky and can get into your phone when you least expect it. When you need smartphone repairs, you can always trust Dr Phone RX to help. We are your go-to phone repair professionals when you need software or hardware repairs.