Mobile Phone Virus: With about 84 percent of the world’s population now owning a smartphone and our increasing dependence on them, these devices have become an attractive place for scammers. Last year, cyber security company Kaspersky detected nearly 3.5 million malicious attacks on mobile phone users. The spam messages 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 private company Zimperium, more than one in five mobile devices are exposed to malware and four out of every ten mobiles worldwide are vulnerable to cyber attacks. But how do you know if your phone has been targeted? And what can you do? How does the phone get infected? Like personal computers, phones can also be tampered with by malware.
Phone virus works like computer virus
For example, in 2016 the Hummingbad virus infected 10 million devices and put 80 million devices at risk within a few months of its manufacture. Generally, a phone virus works just like a computer virus. When a malicious code infects your device, it spreads to other devices by auto-messaging or auto-forwarding it as an email to others in your contact list.
A virus can limit the functionality of your phone, sending your personal information to hackers. Could send spam messages linking malware to your contacts and even allow virus operators to “spy” you by capturing your screen and keyboard input and tracking your geographic location.
16,000 reports of flubot virus in eight weeks
In Australia, Scamwatch received 16,000 reports of flubot virus in just eight weeks in 2021. This virus sends text messages to Android and iPhone users with links to malware. Clicking on the link may download a suspicious app to your phone, allowing scammers to access your personal information. Flubot scammers regularly change their target countries. According to cyber security firm Bitdefender, Flubot operators targeted Australia, Germany, Poland, Spain, Austria and other European countries between 1 December 2021 and 2 January this year.
Is Apple or Android more secure?
While Apple devices are generally considered to be more secure than Androids and less prone to virus attacks. iPhone users themselves break into the security system if they modify their phones. Similarly, Android users who install apps from outside the Google Play Store are at increased risk of installing malware. It is recommended that all phone users be careful, as both Apple and Android are vulnerable to security risks.
It is said that phones are generally better protected from viruses than personal computers. This is because the software is usually installed through authorized app stores which check 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 apps are unable to access or interfere. However, no device is completely secure.
Recognize the signs of a virus
While it is not always easy to tell whether your phone is infected with a virus or not, it will exhibit some unusual behavior if it has got a virus. Such as poor performance, taking longer than usual to open apps or randomly draining excessive battery, increased mobile data consumption.
If you suspect that a virus has infected your device, there are a few steps you can take. First, you must 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 reputable vendors offering paid and free security services include Avast, AVG, Bitdefender, McAfee and Nortone.
Restart your iPhone, or Restart your Android phone to enter Safe Mode, Android has a feature that prevents third-party applications from running as long as they are enabled. Delete any suspicious or unfamiliar apps from your downloaded apps list and if you’re an Android user, turn off 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 on links in unusual pop-ups, or unusual text messages, social media posts, or emails, by only installing apps from authorized app stores, such as That Google Play or Apple’s App Store. Check app permissions before installing so you 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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