Can Mobile Devices Get Malware?

Can Viruses Infect Phones?

The quick response is − not really. There are no viruses known to exist for iOS or Android as of yet. There aren't any known traditional viruses for mobile devices yet. A virus is typically defined as malicious computer software that copies itself as it executes.

But even while a traditional virus may never infect your iPhone or Android phone, there is a much higher likelihood that your device may become infected by other forms of malware or threats. One sort of malware, or malicious software, is viruses. It makes sense to protect your device because of this.

How Does Malware Spread to Mobile Devices?

There are a number of ways in which malware can spread to mobile devices. Read through this article to find out how malware spreads and how you can protect your mobile devices from a malware attack.

Installing harmful applications

Through downloads and apps, hackers most frequently distribute malware. The majority of the time, programs downloaded from an official app store are secure, but "pirated" or software obtained from dubious sources frequently also contain viruses. These are apps that look trustworthy but actually contain spyware or other malware.

On rare occasions, a malicious program will make it to an official app store. One recent instance is InstaAgent, a program that secretly sends user login information for Instagram to a different server without the user's awareness. These programs typically get noticed and fixed right away, but they show what may happen. Developers occasionally employ compromised, pirated development tools. Everything created with these tools will thereafter contain harmful malware that could steal confidential information or harm mobile devices.

To target your phone, criminals take advantage of gaps in Wi-Fi networks or obsolete operating systems or browsers. Alternately, they might employ social engineering techniques to deceive you into installing a fake app, opening a link in a phony text message or email, or visiting a dubious website in order to install malware. There is a lot to be aware of because cybercriminals are constantly changing their methods and strategies.

Using a mobile device with a compromised operating system

Hackers may frequently be able to take advantage of weaknesses in mobile devices themselves. These flaws are typically rapidly identified and fixed, but if you don't frequently update the software on your phone, your device will be exposed.

Like any computer, it's essential to maintain your mobile device updated to prevent hackers from taking advantage of any weaknesses.

Examining fraudulent emails

As more workers check and respond to work emails on their phones, hackers are able to infect your phone with malware. Here's an illustration − You get an email saying you won something (a tablet, a vacation, etc.). When you open the email and click the link inside, nothing happens, or you instead go on a bogus website. However, your phone has malware that was downloaded and set up. That hacker may now have access to the info on your phone.

Using unsecured Wi-Fi and URLs

You run the risk of revealing sensitive data sent from your device if you access unsecured websites. Additionally, malware exposure and man-in-the-middle assaults are more likely to occur. Avoid connecting to untrusted Wi-Fi networks and websites, and for more secure Wi-Fi communication, think about using antivirus software and a VPN on your phone.

Your smartphone's browser itself can contain security flaws. Attacks on web browsers may result from this. These kinds of attacks are more frequent on Android devices. Regardless of the browser you use, make sure you have the most recent version.

Receiving phishing texts or voicemails

You can receive a text message or voicemail requesting personal information about you or your device from what seems to be a trustworthy source.

Hackers frequently utilize this information to steal any data they can, such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and other personal information. They might even be able to utilize it to launch a focused attack and infect your phone with malware.

When you receive a text like this, call the business and confirm with them on their real phone. Never text someone with private information. You should immediately delete any suspicious texts and make an effort to contact the company directly, as sometimes even replying to a text might be risky.

How Can I Check for Malware on My Phone?

You need a dependable malware scanner on your phone to identify some malware because its signs and symptoms can be difficult to see. Some devices come equipped with a scanner that can carry out simple tasks. However, you can get a certified mobile security app if you don't have one or if you require a more potent scanner.

You can run manual or recurring scans for your entire device or selected programs using the antivirus app. Depending on how your phone performs and behaves, you can select between standard and deep scans.

Tips for Preventing Malware on Your Mobile Device

The good news is that there are several simple steps you can take to prevent malware from infecting your mobile device, even though that danger exists. Here are some strategies for guarding against viruses on your phone and other devices −

  • Avoid jailbreaking your device because doing so strips it of several of its built-in security features. Your gadget may be able to perform more tasks as a result, but it also makes it more open to assaults.

  • Use a virtual private network (VPN) to access and share information safely across public Wi-Fi networks. A VPN is a secure "tunnel."

  • Download Apps from trustworthy sources − Malware-infected apps are more likely to be found in unofficial app shops.

  • Data encryption is a must if you have sensitive information on a mobile device. If malware steals it, it will still be safe after that.

  • Update your software and hardware − Businesses frequently publish updates for mobile devices that fix potential flaws.

Updated on: 05-Aug-2022


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