With the recent scares about Android’s ‘StageFright 2.0’ bug, that you get by opening a MP3 or MP4 file, it might get your wondering more about whether you have or had a bug on your phone. Different malware includes adware, bug, spyware, Trojan horse, virus, and many more (Learn more about Malware types ) There are some signs that your phone is being attacked and many ways to prevent your smartphone from getting malware. Already have a virus? There are ways to get your phone back in your control.
Has your phone been bugged? Here are some signs your phone is being tapped into:
- Difficulty Shutting Down – You may experience a delay in shutting down your phone. Often you will notice the back-light is still on even after it’s shut off.
- Odd Activity – This can consist of distortions on your screen or even application being installed by itself.
- Call Interference – During phone calls there may be unexplained background noises, clicks, echoes, or static.
- Data Use Increase – Drastic increases in data without a good explanation. Not sure how to tell… “Look at how much data your device is using, and see if there’s a big discrepancy between how much data you’re using, and how much your applications are using. Any difference involving 10MB or more might be a sign of ‘parasitic activity’” – DarkReading
- Low Battery and High Temperatures – Both paired together could be caused by a constantly running application tapping into your phone.
- Coded Text Messages – This is a strong sign your phone has been tapped
The 2015 Internet Security Threat Report from Symantec showed that data breaches surged by 23 percent last year, and nearly a million new pieces of malware (“malicious software”) were created per day. Almost 1 in 5 Android apps available last year were actually malware in disguise, says the same report. The more popular smartphones and downloading apps become, the more popular malware and other viruses are becoming as well. Be smart and keep your smartphone safe from these bugs.
How do you prevent your phone from getting infected?
Strong Lockscreens – The stronger your passcode to get your phone unlocked the more secure your phone is.
- Not sure how to set up a lockscreen…
- Android Lockscreen Setup
- iPhone Lockscreen Setup
- Top lockscreen apps…
Get A Security Program – Ultimately the best ones would include anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-spam, anti-phishing defense, and a firewall.
- Android Antivirus Apps
- iOS Antivirus Apps
Update Your OS – There is a reason they come out with updates and new operating systems. The longer you put off updating your phone, the more susceptible it is.
Use Trustworthy Companies – If you are downloading applications, ringtones, wallpapers, etc. always use trustworthy companies, take the time to read reviews too.
Avoid Suspicious Websites – If you feel suspicious there’s good reason.
- How do you tell a website is unsafe? (SpyRambly)
- Poor layout
- Bright and flashing buttons, banners, or images
- Constant pressure to download
- Manipulation used to click on unsafe links
Turn Off Bluetooth – When you are not using the Bluetooth, have it set to off
Take Out Battery – Although this make not as practical for frequent users but if you know you won’t be using your phone for a while, take out the battery.
Don’t Jailbreak – If you jailbreak your phone this leaves you much more susceptible to viruses.
Use the Two Step Verification – This is an extra security step.
- Not sure how to set it up…
- Google 2-Step Verification
- Apple 2-Step Verification
Encrypt Sensitive Information – Another extra security step to help keep you safe.
- How do you encrypt?
TIP: Backup Your Information – No matter how hard you try to prevent it there is still a chance you will get infected. It is always a good idea to have your information backed up in case you have to wipe your phone clean.
- How do you backup your phone?
- Android Backups
- iPhone Backups
My phone is infected! What do I do now?
- Take out your SIM card at first sign of malware
- Restart your phone in ‘Safe Mode’
- Depending on the severity of the infection:
- Uninstall the application or remove file/software from where the malware came from
- Reset to factory settings – you can do this on your own or take it to your provider (This is where backing your information up is important)
- Run an anti-virus scan