Android Malware On the Rise Again - Essential Tips to Follow by Farwa Sajjad

Everyone is now immensely dependent on mobile phones. From acquiring education to shopping, online banking people prefer smartphones. These electronic devices have made our lives much more relaxed than expected, and people are spending more time than before.

However, mobile phones, especially the Android ones, bring vulnerabilities and threats along with themselves. Stats reveal an increase in the number of mobile bugs and security flaws in 2021, and this figure will increase over time. The situation is alarming as Symantec also warns of different malicious apps. The company claims to block more than 10,000 malicious apps daily. Android malware like the Joker malware has been rising for quite a long time.

This post discusses different signs of Android malware and quick ways to prevent it. But before this, let's first talk about how malware gets into your phone. Let's read on.

How Does Malware Get Into Your Device?

Android malware is a severe concern for Android users. There are many ways of phone hacking. Some of these includes:

  •  Hackers install malware by any means (phishing and smishing) on your phone to gain illegal access.
  • At times, Android phones are vulnerable to the unauthorized installation of software, which causes harm to the device from the backend.
  • Malware gets into your phone by giving malicious or Fake Domain Google apps access to your contact list, messages, and other galleries.

Signs of Android Malware

Before concluding, it's better to confirm whether either your device is being infected with malware or not. For this, you need to look for some common Android malware detection signs. Below are the five signs of Android malware:

Suspicious Mobile Apps

There are mobile apps for almost every reason. Some of these apps are installed by default, while you install some. For instance, the manufacturers already have YouTube installed when you buy a smartphone. You need to download other useful apps such as WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook, and Venmo money transfer apps.

Having all these apps is always a great idea but, cross-check them with Google Search to make sure that you've downloaded the legal and verified version. At times, users are mistaken, and they install malicious versions. As a result, malware finds a way of entering into your phone. Hence, whenever you watch any suspicious app, uninstall it because it can put your device security at significant risk.

Frequent Battery Drainage

It is yet another sign of Android malware. When you feel abnormal battery drainage, you must assume some malicious actor in your phone. 

Because of a battery problem, your smartphone works slow. It is because extra code and data are running behind your device in the form of malware. The malware is continuously spying and capturing your activities and giving all this information to the hackers. However, other reasons are too associated with battery drainage, like the charger's malfunction and frequent use of mobile apps.

Pop Up Messages

When hackers gain illegal access to your phone, you notice that you receive pop-up messages more often than before. These messages are sent by hackers who want to trick the users into getting their valuable information. These messages usually request you to click on any given link. Upon doing so, malware gets installed within your Android device. Thus, if you get pop-up messages, be cautious because it's a sign of phone hacking.

Your Contacts Receive Malicious Messages

If your contacts complain that they're receiving malicious messages that ask them to perform some action, it is a sign of phone hacking. When a hijacker hacks a phone, they want to get maximum benefits from it. 

Hackers send malware containing links and files in the messages to your entire contact list to infect their devices. When someone complains about such suspicious activity, make them aware that it's not you.

Increased Data Usage

Increased data usage is also a sign of malware infecting your Android phones. When your mobile is consuming unexpected data, your device contains malware. The malware works in the background without the user's knowledge and exploits the vulnerabilities or steals data. During this time, you'll also observe that there's a sudden increase in your mobile bill.

How to Prevent Android Malware?

Android malware can bring catastrophic impacts and thus needs to be prevented. Below are some of the best ways to avoid Android malware:

  • If you receive any suspicious message with a link embedded in it, avoid clicking on that link. Don't respond to such notices.
  • Don't use public Wi-Fi networks at cafes or cinemas because they're weak network connections that contain malware. Use open Wi-Fi with a VPN that encrypts your traffic.
  • Always use the best antivirus software for your phones, like your laptop or computer.
  • Set a strong password on your phone, and if you can't, use password managers.
  • Learn to identify and respond to phishing emails.
  • Avoid using mobile banking when you are on a public network. Also, don't reveal your confidential information like bank account details and credit card numbers. 
  • Update your phone from time to time. 
  • Install apps from Google Play Store or Apple Store and avoid downloading third-party apps.
  • Start using mobile security apps because they safeguard your device by sending you alerts on any suspicious moves.
  • Acquire knowledge on malvertising and be cautious of downloading or clicking on pop-up ads
  • Stay updated on the latest threats and vulnerabilities. Go and check the tech websites for this purpose because they inform about the risks and tell ways to prevent them.

Parting Words

Android malware has become a serious issue that can cause loss of sensitive data and result in privacy breaches. 

All you can do is be aware of the signs and adopt practices to avoid them. Those, as mentioned earlier, are some of the best possible ways to prevent Android malware. Implement these practices and protect your Android phone from potential risk.


About the Author

Farwa Sajjad

Farwa is a cybersecurity journalist and infosec writer who has a knack for writing internet privacy-focused articles. She is skilled in writing topics related to cybersecurity, AI, DevOps, Cloud security, and a lot more.
February 8, 2022
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