Mobile phone viruses: With approximately 84 percent of the world’s population now owning a smartphone and our growing reliance on them, these devices have become an attractive location for fraudsters. Last year, the cybersecurity company Kaspersky detected nearly 3.5 million malicious attacks on mobile phone users. Spam messages that we receive on our phones through text messages or emails often contain links to viruses, which are a type of malicious software (malware).
According to a global report commissioned by the private company Zimperium, more than one in five mobile devices is exposed to malware and four out of ten mobile devices worldwide are vulnerable to cyberattacks. But how do you know if your phone has been attacked? And what can you do? How does the phone get infected? Just like personal computers, phones can also be manipulated by malware.
The phone virus works like a computer virus.
For example, in 2016, the Hummingbad virus infected 10 million devices and compromised 80 million devices within months of its manufacture. Generally, a phone virus works like a computer virus. When malicious code infects your device, it spreads to other devices through automated messages or auto-forwarding as an email to other people in your contact list.
A virus can limit the functionality of your phone and send your personal information to hackers. It could send spam messages linking malware to your contacts and even allow virus operators to “spy” on you by capturing your screen and keyboard and tracking your geographic location.
16,000 flubot virus reports in eight weeks
In Australia, Scamwatch received 16,000 flubot virus reports in just eight weeks in 2021. This virus texts Android and iPhone users with links to malware. Clicking the link may download a suspicious app to your phone, allowing scammers to access your personal information. Flubot scammers regularly change their destination countries. According to cybersecurity firm Bitdefender, Flubot operators targeted Australia, Germany, Poland, Spain, Austria and other European countries between December 1, 2021 and January 2 this year.
Is Apple or Android safer?
While Apple devices are generally considered more secure than Android devices and less prone to virus attacks, iPhone users themselves enter the security system if they tamper with their phones. Similarly, Android users who install apps from outside the Google Play Store are at a higher risk of installing malware. All phone users are advised to be careful as both Apple and Android are vulnerable to security risks.
Phones are said to be generally better protected against viruses than personal computers. This is because the software is usually installed through authorized app stores that verify each and every app. Also, phones are more secure than computers because apps usually have their own separate “sandboxes.” This reduces the risk of infection or cross-contamination with malware when other applications cannot access or interfere. However, no device is completely secure.
Recognize the signs of a virus.
While it is not always easy to tell if your phone is infected with a virus or not, it will exhibit unusual behavior if it has a virus. For example, poor performance, taking longer than usual to open apps or randomly draining excessive battery, increased mobile data consumption.
If you suspect a virus has infected your device, there are a few steps you can take. First, you need to remove the malware to prevent further damage. Here are some simple troubleshooting steps, use a reliable antivirus app to scan your phone. Some of the trusted providers that offer free and paid security services include Avast, AVG, Bitdefender, McAfee, and Nortone.
Reboot your iPhone or reboot your Android phone to enter safe mode, Android has a feature that prevents third-party apps from running while enabled. Remove any suspicious or unknown apps from your list of downloaded apps and if you are an Android user, disable safe mode once the apps are removed.
protect your phone from infection
Now that you’ve fixed your phone, it’s important to keep it safe from future viruses and other security risks. The mobile security apps mentioned above will help with this, but you can also avoid clicking links in unusual pop-ups, or unusual text messages, social media posts or emails, by only installing apps from authorized app stores, like That Google Play or the Apple App Store. Check the app permissions before installing to know where the app will have access Back up your data regularly and keep your phone software updated to the latest version.
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