What to do if you think you have Android Malware on your phone or tablet? Today, let’s talk about what to do if you think you may be infected by an Android malware.
There are always a lot of discussions (and sometimes a bit of scaremongering) about how to prevent Android malware, but very little about what to do if it happens to you. Prevention is still the best idea, either from careful control of the things you do, or by using an application to monitor, but you can survive a malware attack.
First, a word about Android: “virus” Viruses do not exist for Android. The name is used a lot, but technically there has never been a virus found that affects Android, and no matter how much malicious people try, they will never affect the Android system.
A virus is a piece of executable, self-replicating code who can do his dirty work on a machine (yes, our androids are machines) and also has the ability to automatically transmit to other machines.
The way Android (and iOS, and some operating systems) is by isolating space, which means that this can not happen. At least in theory. To get malware on your Android, you must have given permission to install.
This does not mean that you said “Cool! Let me install this application that steals my data!”. A Malware is usually hidden inside something that you want to install, or something that is cheated in the installation. Just know that you will not get the malware by visiting a website or reading a message.
You need to install and approve the installation during the process. If you have detected a malware, the damage is already done (if it is a very bad malware), and doing something silly like bouncing or destroying your phone will not undo anything).
Your goals are now to remove the malware, and try to avoid the theft or loss of data. Reflect on what could have caused it to try to solve it. Close your Android and use another computer to investigate things if you can. You will want to install and run one of the many antivirus applications for Android to see if you can find any type of malware and get it removed.
Go back to your Android again, and install the AV application from Google Play, and let it do its job.