Blog · October 11, 2019

How to Tell If Your Phone Has a Virus: 7 Common Signs

Phones can get viruses. Did you know? It is less likely to occur on your phone than on your computer. Like any device which we use to access the internet and to communicate with others, your phone can get a virus. And as phones have become more and more a part of our everyday lives, the number of viruses has also increased.

There are some who claim that iOS is immune. This is not true, viruses on iOS are rarer, but they do happen. These viruses get into your phone through apps that you download, emails, texts and web pages. There are also many different types of viruses – such as: adware, malware, ransomware, spyware and trojan horses – but identifying the type of virus you have shouldn’t be your priority because fixing the problem will be the same regardless of the type of attack.

How do you know if you have a virus on your phone though? Here are seven indicators on how to tell if your phone has a virus:

1. Having an app you didn’t download

This is a tell-tale sign of a virus, especially on Android phones. What happens is that when you download one app, others will piggyback onto them. This means that you won’t know that something has gotten into your phone until it is too late. If you see an app and you don’t know why it’s there, delete it.

2. Your battery drains quickly

There are many reasons for this, so make sure to rule out things like an aging phone and your own increased usage beforehand. The reason your battery will drain quickly is that the virus needs energy in order to survive. It will use your phone’s resources and this shortens the battery life. To make sure that it’s a virus and not just one of your apps draining your battery, you can head to the Settings section of your phone and look at a run-down of which app is using how much energy.

3. You are being billed for texts or calls that you didn’t make

This can happen when viruses send messages or call premium numbers. These cost extra and will show up on your bill. If this happens, try to investigate where the messages are coming from: look through your text messages and/or call your provider. If you can pinpoint the app or other location that they are coming from, then you can delete it and deal with the problem.

4. Your phone is sending odd calls and messages

Viruses need to spread in order to survive. One way that they do that is via text messages, calls or emails. Some will send a message to all your contacts, usually containing a link which, of course, carries the virus. If your phone is sending messages that you haven’t written, this is one way on how to tell if your phone has a virus. Make sure to warn your friends not to open these.

5. Your phone connects to the internet on its own

This is much like how the virus can send messages from your phone in order to replicate itself. Viruses may also turn on your internet connection so that they can spread. They do this so that they can send emails or show adds, getting more people to click on them and inadvertently download them. Pay attention to if your phone’s Wi-Fi or data is being turned on. If it happens on its own, then you may very well have a virus.

6. Repeated pop-ups

Are ads and pop-ups always appearing on your phone? Do they link to sketchy websites? This is a sign of adware or malware. First, don’t click on the ads. Secondly, adware and malware usually make their way onto phones by piggybacking onto other apps. Identify the last few apps that you downloaded and uninstall them. This should remove the adware or malware from your phone.

7. Repeated crashing

This is largely a result of what has already been mentioned in this blog post. The virus is using your phone’s resources in order to spread. This may be taxing on your phone and lead to it crashing. Crashing problems are particularly complex to resolve, so it’s best to consult with the professional experts to repair your mobile phone.

Now, how do you prevent all of this from happening? It’s really not all that complicated. Make sure that all of your software updates are done. If there are any bugs with the programs then updates will frequently fix these and that will make your phone a more difficult target for viruses. Otherwise, strategies for avoiding viruses on your phone are much the same as those for avoiding viruses on your computer.

This means avoid anything that looks suspicious, such as weird emails, suspicious looking pop-ups, apps that you don’t trust. If you spot them then just don’t open them. If they are on your phone and you didn’t put them there, delete them. Finally, as with your computer, make sure to regularly backup any information that you have stored on your phone. That way if something does happen, at least you won’t lose anything.