Many people don’t take mobile security very seriously. They believe that they only have to worry about their desktop devices getting infected.
However, mobile malware is quite dangerous. McAfee recently warned that over 40 million mobile devices are infected with malware. This problem is likely to only keep getting worse.
You have to recognize the threat of mobile malware. Make sure that you know the warning signs that your phone might be infected with a virus. You can keep reading to learn more.
Recognize the Risks of Malware on Mobile Devices
Smartphones have become indispensable everyday devices, as they store much of our sensitive information: from a phone list that we have long since stopped memorizing to our most precious memories, as well as banking or professional documents (including the passwords needed to access them). Thus, these gadgets are a tempting lure for those who love the unwanted; cybercriminals who entrust malicious software or ‘malware’ with the task of stealing our data without us realizing it.
The cybersecurity firm Check Point Software Technologies has come forward to list five undeniable signs that a smartphone has been compromised. All of them are easily recognizable even by the least tech-savvy users:
The phone is running slow or ‘weird’.
It is true that most smartphones slow down after several years (mostly due to the manufacturers’ planned obsolescence), but this may not be the reason why our model has started to run slowly. If we notice that some applications close for no apparent reason or that utilities such as the flashlight stop working, we should be alert. Especially if it happens after installing an application or clicking on a download link.
The battery runs out of power prematurely
All batteries lose maximum charge capacity over the years, but once again it could be malware that is responsible for the mobile staying on less and less time. More specifically, if we see that the battery goes from 100 to 50% in a few minutes, it would be worth taking a look at the ‘Battery’ section within’ Settings’ to check which application is responsible.
Data consumption is skyrocketing
Have you noticed lately a skyrocketing data consumption even though you have not been playing videos or downloading from mobile networks? Someone may have taken remote control of the phone to install applications on it without our awareness; apps that run in the background under constant data traffic. In this case we should review the list of installed applications and delete those we don’t recognize.
Ads appear everywhere
This is an increasingly common occurrence: parents and grandparents ask their children or grandchildren to remove “all those ads that have suddenly appeared” on their cell phones. The culprit is a type of malware called ‘adware’, which is capable of inserting advertisements even in the phone’s notifications and, as Check Point points out, is very difficult to remove. Not surprisingly, these types of applications are designed to hide their icons so that we cannot uninstall them. The advice is the same as always: do not click on anonymous links that we have received by message or email or install apps outside official channels such as Google Play.
The phone lists calls that we have not made
If when reviewing the call history we find numbers that we have not contacted (usually foreigners) or we come across text messages sent without our consent, the infection of the device is guaranteed. The worst thing comes when we receive the bill, where this type of communication is charged at considerable prices.
Eusebio Nieva, technical director of Check Point Software for Spain and Portugal, states that “it is important to have security measures to protect our devices, since prevention is the best weapon to avoid any kind of problem”. In this regard, it is essential to install an antivirus application on our mobile.