You may use your phone every day without realizing that you have malware. There are many ways to end up with malware on your phone, and it can cause all kinds of issues. It can slow your phone down and cause other apps on your phone not to work correctly. Some types of malware even gather your personal information, which can lead to serious issues if someone uses that information to hack into your accounts. But there are ways to remove malware and some ways to prevent yourself from downloading bad apps in the future.
Thoroughly search your phone
Malware apps may look like normal apps when you download them. They sometimes even change the name and icon on your phone once downloaded, which can make them harder to find. Go through all the apps on your phone to find ones that you don’t use or ones that you don’t remember downloading. Remove those apps fully by uninstalling, not just removing the icon from your screen. Most phones allow you to pull up a function that shows all installed apps. If you can’t do this, be sure to go through all files and folders on your phone to find any apps that don’t belong.
What to look for
Malware is often disguised as something innocuous like a game, a wallpaper app, a GPS assistant or even something that seems useful like a photo editor or keyboard. When downloading apps, check reviews first. If an app has a lot of downloads but few reviews, that’s a red flag. You should also be sure to read the terms of the download and be aware of the permissions the app asks for. Some may request access to your photos, texts and other personal information stored on your phone. Consider the purpose of the app and whether the requested permissions make sense. If not, it may be malware.
Malicious apps can be disguised by innocent descriptions and graphics. It’s important to be cautious when downloading apps to your phone. Thoroughly read the description and reviews before you download, check your phone regularly for malware, and remove any suspicious apps. While most malware exists simply to spam you with lots of ads, other types may access personal information on your phone. It’s best to download from trusted sources and regularly check your phone to remove any potentially malicious apps.