As secure as the Android operating system is, it is still vulnerable to different kinds of malware attacks. Malware is malicious software that infiltrates your system and is used for nefarious purposes like stealing private information.
It can cause your Android system to be bombarded with ads, affect your system performance, and overheat your phone. These kinds of malware can infiltrate your system if you download files from untrusted sources, visit shady websites, and open suspicious links.
If you think your Android phone may have been infected with malware, we will show you how you can check for them.
How to Check Android for Malware?
Malware is designed to hide within your system and stay undetected. So, finding malware that is actively hidden can be pretty tricky. However, we have listed a series of methods you can use to track if your phone has been infected with malware.
You should try all these methods for optimal results in detecting malware that could have infiltrated your system.
Check Applications From Settings
Malware is known to disguise itself as normal applications in Android. Furthermore, some malware may even hide their launch icon, so you don’t see an extra application you don’t remember downloading.
You should check all of your applications in settings just to be sure.
- Open Settings.
- Go to Apps.
- Look through all your applications for suspicious-looking ones. (Applications that you don’t remember downloading.)
- Some malware can even name themselves some legit-sounding system application name. Check on the internet what those suspicious applications do.
If you find any suspicious applications that may be malware, you can simply click on the application and tap Uninstall to delete it.
Scan With Play Protect
While the Android Play Store is predominantly used for downloading applications, it also has some additional functions. For instance, you can use the Play Protect feature to scan for harmful applications in your system.
Here’s how you can do so:
- Open Play Store.
- Click on your account icon in the top right.
- Select Play Protect.
- Tap on Scan.
- Play Protect will start scanning for any harmful apps on your phone.
Check Application Permissions
Application permissions can tell you a lot about what particular apps are doing. For malware to be able to perform most of its activity, they need to have permission to access certain things.
You can check through all the suspicious-looking applications by checking their permissions. If a simple calculator application has permission to access your camera, microphone, files and media, and contacts, there is definitely something wrong with that application.
Here’s how you can check your application permissions:
- Launch Settings on your Android device.
- Scroll down and tap on Apps.
- Click on any suspicious application.
- Tap on Permissions to check all of its permissions.
If you find suspicious applications with access to permissions that aren’t related to the app’s function, you can use the same method as above to uninstall them.
Pop-ups and Adware
While malware tries to stay undetected for as long as possible to carry out its harmful processes, some malware does the exact opposite. Adware is a specific type of malware that forcibly shows you advertisements. Some adware may even recommend you download other malicious software.
They usually say that your phone is infected with viruses and that you should download their antivirus software to clear them, which is usually another malware. Your Android system will never show pop-ups and advertisements like these.
Adwares are usually browser-based, and your infected browser can automatically open and show you advertisements. You can clear all data from your browser or reinstall them to delete the adware.
Check Data and Battery Usage
While you may not see them, malware is usually running in the background and using system resources like data and battery. Android allows you to look through which applications are using how much of these resources.
If you see a background process using way too much battery and data, it is likely malicious software. Here’s how you can do so:
- Launch Settings.
- Navigate to Battery and device care.
- Tao on Battery and the usage graph.
- You should be able to see the battery consumption of all applications since the last full charge and the Last 7 days.
- Choose Last 7 days.
- Look if any suspicious background process is using too much battery.
- To see the data usage of applications, you can go to Connections > Data usage from settings.
- Choose Mobile data usage or Wi-Fi data usage.
- Check if any application is using way too much data that they aren’t supposed to use.
Scan With Antivirus
Lastly, you should also scan your whole device with antivirus software to ensure there is no malware on your phone. Antivirus software is made to detect and deal with threats like malware, and they look through your whole phone for malicious software.
Bitdefender, Norton, Avast, and Malwarebytes are some of the Android antivirus software you can use to detect malware.