These days, many of us rely on our smartphones for a huge range of tasks – from looking up train times to catching up with friends. Unfortunately, though, if you use a smartphone heavily, you could be inadvertently giving malware opportunities to sneak onto that device.
Though Which? acknowledges that Android phones are more vulnerable than iPhones to malware, no smartphone is completely safe from a malware infection. Hence, you should be on your guard if you notice any of the following problems blighting your particular device.
Your Device Consumes A Lot Of Data
What exactly constitutes “an awful lot” in this context will depend on how much cellular data your device typically consumes. However, if your phone starts rapidly depleting its data, this would be the earliest sign of a virus on your phone, USA TODAY warns.
You could especially easily notice data usage inexplicably ramping up if you lack an unlimited data plan and, for this reason, need to keep buying new data for your handset.
Apps Keep Crashing
You should be on the alert if certain apps you used to use regularly and without any hiccups suddenly start crashing regularly.
This peculiar occurrence can be emerging evidence of a virus running amok, as the majority of viruses that end up on smartphones will tamper with how it usually runs. You could, however, keep all of your mobile apps updated to prevent this kind of interference.
You Think “I Can’t Remember Installing That..”
What’s potentially even worse than crashing apps? Apps you don’t even remember installing on your device in the first place. Unscrupulous people will design these apps to look like authentic, innocuous software in the hope that they don’t attract suspicion.
If you see any app that you can’t recall downloading and doesn’t seem genuine, get rid of it. Companies could install a “zero trust” solution to regulate which of their users can access which apps – and ensure that potentially security-compromised devices can’t be used to reach them.
Your Battery Drains Faster Than Usual
In the same way that becoming infected with a biological virus can leave you feeling physically drained, malware can be similarly taxing on a smartphone. Consequently, your smartphone could end up burning through its battery life at an unexpectedly quick rate.
Unfortunately, as acknowledged in a Samsung Insights article, most users know that their smartphone’s batteries lose efficiency with age anyway. Therefore, if you use a particularly old device, you could be too quick to simply blame its age rather than suspect a malware attack.
Your Smartphone Is Strangely Warm
Much like a biological virus can give you a fever, malware can lead your phone to heat up excessively. That’s because the malware’s activity would be keeping your device’s processors and antennae busier than they typically would be.
So, if your handset feels peculiarly warm in your palm as you pick up the device, there’s probably more than just the customary alerts and updates happening behind the scenes.