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How to Check Your Smartphone for Viruses

Software viruses are not peculiar only to computers, your smartphone can also contract a malicious software. There are so many ways in which your phone can get a virus, however, the most common way is when you download malicious apps and opening some spam emails.


Howbeit, if you are careful enough to download apps from play store only, chances are that your phone is not affected by a virus. However, viruses and other maladies can affect both smartphones and tablets, so let’s take a look at your device and see if we can figure out if it has one.

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What Kinds of Viruses Do Phones Get?

it doesn’t really matter what kind of virus your phone might have, it needs to be addressed. Viruses limit your phone functionality and can cause serious damage to your phone if not detected. Below are the most common types of viruses that can affect your phone.

  • Adware: Creates ads with links to web pages or apps that can cause damage or security breaches
  • Malware: Takes over certain phone functions to steal personal information, send text messages, or perform other problematic actions
  • Ransomware: Locks files or apps, then demands money from the user in exchange for unlocking them
  • Spyware: Monitors the user’s phone activity for malicious purposes
  • Trojan Horse: Attaches itself to a legitimate app, then interferes with the phone’s operation

So how do you check whether your phone is infected with malware? Here are a few ways to scan your device and make sure it’s safe.

Method 1: Checking for malware with built-in tools

Many smartphones with recent versions of Android have built-in tools for checking whether a device has any malware installed.

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This is the easiest way to see whether your phone is compromised. To check whether your phone has this type of built-in tool, access your phone manager app or search for your device security menu in your phone’s settings. Usually, you will see the option to scan your phone for malware with these tools. But if your phone doesn’t seem to have this tool, don’t worry – there are other ways you can scan your device.


Method 2: Using the Google Play Protect Scan

Every android device comes with an inbuilt Google Play Store app. The app also gives you access to a malware scanning tool.

To launch a malware scan, open Google Play and go to the dropdown menu on the top left of your screen. You will see a tab called ‘Play Protect’. Selecting this tab will open a window where you can scan your phone. If you haven’t scanned your phone recently, click the refresh button and Play Protect will scan again. If the status says ‘Looks good’, it means that Play Protect hasn’t detected any dodgy apps or malware on your phone.

Method 3: Using an anti-malware app

There are some dedicated anti-malware apps that you can install from play store to scan and get rid of viruses. Common examples are LookoutKaspersky Mobile and AVG AntiVirus. You will be able to perform a device scan for any malware with these. Sometimes just opening the app will launch a scan; other times you will need to manually select a scan button.


What to do if you find malware

If your phone detects a malicious software, you need to immediately get rid of the app or files responsible. Often, tools will isolate the infected app and uninstall it for you. Otherwise, launch your phone in Safe Mode (accessing this mode is done differently depending on your device) and uninstall the problem app. Relaunch your phone in normal mode and perform a scan again to check whether the malware has been removed.

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