Because the Android operating system is open source, it’s easy for programmers to customize it and develop apps for it. But its main strength is also a weakness — criminals can easily access programming codes, find vulnerabilities, and distribute malware through Android apps. Fortunately, there are ways to rid your Android devices of malware should they get infected.
Confirm the malware infection
Android devices usually exhibit strange behavior when they’re infected with malware. Their speed may suddenly slow to a crawl or the battery may drain faster than expected. Other telltale signs include an abundance of pop-up ads, unusual apps installed on your home screen, unexplained data usage, and unauthorized in-app purchases.
However, it’s not always easy to tell if your device has been compromised since hackers are becoming more proficient at concealing their actions. The best way to check for malware is to run an antivirus scan using a mobile security solution.
How to get rid of malware
If your device is infected with malware, the most important thing to do is quarantine the threat as soon as possible. Start by rebooting your device in safe mode, which can be selected when you hold down the power button. Not all versions of Android are the same though, so if this isn’t an option, try restarting your device and holding the volume-down button when the manufacturer’s logo appears.
Once you’ve entered safe mode, go to Settings, then Apps, and uninstall any suspicious apps. Do a quick Google search or ask your cybersecurity technician to help you determine whether or not an app is dangerous.
If you can’t uninstall the software, it may have administrative privileges. To fix this, open the Advanced settings menu from the Settings app, then select Security, then Device administrators, remove any app that shouldn’t have privileged access, and return to the Apps menu to uninstall it. Mobile security software should also be able to remove hidden malicious programs in your device.
If the malware persists, you’ll have to do a factory reset. This option is usually located in the Backup & reset configurations within the Advanced settings menu. Keep in mind that you’ll lose the apps and files stored in your device, so it’s important to back up your data beforehand.
Protecting your device from malware
After you’ve successfully recovered from a mobile malware infection, make sure to update your device and security software to prevent another infection. Enabling Google Play Protect from within the app store also safeguards your device from rogue apps.
Ultimately, the best defense is to develop good security habits. Be cautious of everything you see online. Make sure to thoroughly vet apps before downloading them, and don’t click on links from unsolicited texts and emails. Also, avoid public Wi-Fi networks or, at the very least, use a virtual private network (VPN) to secure the connection.
Malware attacks can be devastating to your bottom line, but these tips should help mitigate the risks. If you want to learn more about how you can safeguard your Android devices, our experts are always willing to assist you. Contact us today.