How to Remove Malware from your Android phone
Why should you remove malware from your Android Phone?
The number of android phones infected by malware is astonishing, so let’s focus a little on why you should consider protecting your Android device; Should your device be compromised we’ve written a few steps to take to help you remove malware from your Android phone. And it only gets worse as the number of malware-affected devices is on the rise every year.
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If you own an android phone, chances are you may have been a victim of malware-infected apps, or at least, know someone who has. Hackers are putting out hard work to get their hands on as many devices as they can. By definition, a malware is any software that is intentionally designed to cause damage to or disable an electronic device – in this discussion, we will limit these “devices” to android phones although the definition includes all types of devices.
Such software include: viruses, worms, Trojan horses, adware and many others. The culprits for such software in android phones generally fall into two main categories: hackers and adware. In the latter, users unknowingly download an app that potentially compromises their privacy and security through ads. In the former case, users are just targets of malicious hackers who are after personal and other private information.
How can my phone be infected?
Perhaps the most comforting truth is that: in order for malware apps to have access to your device, you have to actually install the bugged app. This fact may seems like a no-brainer, why would anyone download and install a malicious app. The thing is: malware writers are very smart at disguising apps and getting people to unwillingly install the malware. Naturally, no one in their right mind would download a malware app unless they have been tricked to do so.
To get a sense of how this can done, in 2018 a fake BBM app appeared on Google Play Store. The app was downloaded over 100,000 times before it was eventually taken down. This shows how far malicious writers are willing to go just to get their hands on your device, even being smart enough to slip through major company like BlackBerry.
How to remove Malware
The definition of malware in this text includes viruses and adware, the most common of android phone malware. It is imperative that you perform these steps in order for a better chance of success. As already previously discussed, the best tactic for malware is prevention. The saying “prevention is better than cure” is of absolute significance in this case. If you are not sure of an app, do not download it just yet.
Install apps from verified companies and developers; develop a habit of reading the reviews ahead of installation. However, if you are unlucky enough to have installed a malicious app already, don’t worry, we will show how to remove it.
Identify and uninstall the malicious app from your phone.
The most common way that android phones are infected by viruses is through malicious applications installed and allowed to run on the phone. Identifying a malware may be tricky at times, but the applications with “push notification ads”, “icon ads” and other funny features not mentioned in the ad-app bundle should on the top of the list remove malware from your Android phone. If your android phone started acting funny recently, you can delete/uninstall the recently installed apps. To uninstalling an app from android, follow the following steps;
- Open “Settings” app and tap on “Apps”
- Scroll to find the malicious app and tap on it
- If the app is running click on “Force stop”. Next clear cache and data
- Uninstall the malicious app – click on uninstall
- Restart your device
In this process if you come across an app that you do not remember downloading it, it could be a malware. Similarly, if you come across an app that doesn’t sound legit, it could be a malware. You may, after checking the apps’ information, uninstall it as instructed herein. Applications can also be directly uninstalled from Google’s Play Store:
- Open Google Play Store
- Tap on the “Menu” – top left corner
- Click on “My apps and games”
- Swipe to the left to access your installed apps
- Scroll to find the malware app
- Click on the app
- Click on “Uninstall” and then “Ok”
Reset browser settings
Resetting browser settings clears cache, cookies and other site settings (or information) that may have been saved. For chrome browser, which is the official Google browser and runs on many android phones, can be reset as follows:
- Open your device’s ”Settings” then tap on “Apps”
- Scroll to find the chrome app, then tap on it
- On the chrome’s “App info” menu click on “Storage”
- Tap “Manage Space”
- Tap “Clear all data” then “OK”
Clean up junk files with appropriate cleaner
A good cleaner from the Google Play Store will help you clean the cache of your phone with ease and convenience. Usually with just two touches.
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Use good malware removing apps
A good malware removing app is capable of identifying and destroying many kinds of malware. There are a good number of legit malware removing apps on the Google Play Store, some are even for free. Keep your phone lightweight with a manageable number of apps and tasks; I hope this article helps you in this technological age to remove malware from your Android phone.
Be Smart With Malware
The last two methods of identifying and removing malware from android phones are somewhat glossed over in this article. This is because these methods require a bit investment of time and insight not to fall for the malicious trap again. Another reason is that these two last methods are highly subjective and depends on the type of applications used; their efficiency is also a matter of debate. Some android phones comes equipped with their own pre-installed cleaner app that can also detect malware. However, with the first two methods and a good judgement, your android phone should be safe from malware.
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