For a long time, we’ve only been worried about viruses on our computers. Rarely do you hear someone complaining that their android is infected with malware – but it does happen.
In fact, a report by Statista shows that nearly 482,579 android malware samples were found in the market as of March 2020. This shows that cybercriminals are rapidly gaining interest in your Android.
And so, if your android falls victim to a malware attack, you need to be prepared with what to do. Here are a few steps to help you remove the malware quickly.
1. Turn off your Phone
When you're under a malware attack, the longer your phone stays on, the more damage the malware can cause on your device. First, turn off your phone to stop any ongoing attack attempts and try and understand what's happening.
You can use this time to google the symptoms that your phone has been exhibiting to see if you can understand how to resolve the issue. Once you have an idea of the infected files, you can move to the next step.
2. Use safe mode to remove malware
If you think that the malware could be from a third-party app, use safe mode to isolate the app and disable it. Safe mode makes all the third-party apps inactive, allowing you to uninstall them without having to bear with the operations.
You can do this by holding on the power button when turning on your phone and selecting safe mode.
Alternatively, you can use airplane mode to shut off all your networks, crippling the malicious apps.
3. Uninstall the infected apps
Now that you've identified which app is the culprit, you'll need to flush it out of your Android. Go to settings > apps & notifications, select the app, and delete it from your phone.
If you still don’t know the infected apps, look at your recently installed applications. Check the permissions they use, and also how much memory and data they’re using. You should also look into the apps that have access to the device administrators and disable them.
Most malicious apps ask for ridiculous permissions and utilize more memory and power than they should.
Once you spot it, uninstall the app and delete the app's files in your file manager.
4. Download and Install an anti-malware solution
Your last step should be to ensure that your phone doesn't fall victim again. Find a good antimalware or antivirus in your play store and download it. These softwares will scan all your files and downloads, and it'll identify the potentially malicious files or apps before they can infect your system.
You can also use the antivirus to delete the malware-ridden files and quarantine the potentially infected files. Keep in mind that not all antiviruses are good for your Android – even if they work on your PC.
Compare the best Anti-Malware software for 2020, and choose one that sends regular updates to your device.
5. Factory reset your phone
When everything fails, your only option is erasing everything from your phone and starting afresh. Before doing this, back up all your important pictures and documents in a hard drive or a cloud storage site.
To reset your phone, go to settings>System>Advanced>Reset Options> Erase all data.
How to prevent Android malware infection
While fighting malware on your Android is hard, preventing it is a tougher challenge. However, it’s not impossible.
Your first steps should be working on some basic security tips. Don't click any suspicious links on your phone, and don't access any website that looks malicious.
Next, always check the sources for any apps you download – even from your Google Play Store. Recent news has shown that some hackers have found ways to hide malware in play store apps – even though the app scans all their software.
Additionally, keep all your apps updated at all times - including your antivirus or antimalware. Updating your apps fixes all the vulnerabilities that attackers could use to send malware to your device.
Whenever you suspect that your android is infected, the steps above should be the first things you try. In most cases, you should be able to handle the issue easily. However, if nothing works, contact an expert immediately!