How to Scan Android Phone for Malware

How to Scan Android Phone for Malware

Some people will tell you that your Android phone is immune to computer viruses. But during the summer, dozens of adware and malware apps were found on the Google Play Store (bleepingcomputer.com7/26/2022). Google Play Protect can tell you if your app is different in any way from the version they keep in the Store. But what if the original Google-certified code is bad?

Obviously, there is a role to play for anti-malware apps that can scan your Android phone for viruses and other malware. Many of the products available for Android devices are from the same companies that have been protecting PCs for years. But once any current invasion is removed, there are still future threats to consider. Let’s collect the components of a successful Android security strategy.

Read more: 15 Best Antivirus and Best Anti-Malware Apps for Android

quick answer

To scan your Android phone for viruses and malware, download a reputable anti-malware app (see link above for a list) from the Google Play Store and have it scan your phone for suspicious code. After the scan, go to your apps list and delete any app that you don’t remember installing.


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Can Android phones get viruses or malware?

A virus is a specific type of malware that behaves in a certain way. It replicates itself within the operating system or application code, in the same way that a biological virus inserts its genetic code into human cells. While Android phones aren’t usually exposed to this particular type of security threat, other forms of malware (the larger category that contain viruses and other malicious code) can achieve the same goals as virus makers: into your information, or damage your phone. , or keep it for ransom.

Android phones usually get malware by tricking the phone owner into downloading it. It can come in a downloaded app, attached to an email or SMS text, or downloaded content from a website. It can come from another phone if you connect the two together.
If your phone has slowed down to a crawl, is burning its battery too quickly, or restarts over and over again, it could be due to malware. If the same app starts crashing frequently, if you see ads appearing in apps that don’t usually have ads, if your phone suddenly starts to overheat, or if you see an app on your phone that you don’t remember installing, it probably is that you have a guest unwanted in your phone. So, what should you do?

How to check for viruses or malware on Android

The first thing you need to do is to scan your Android phone for malware. There is a large collection of anti-malware apps for Android. Most of them work on the same model to offer a free version with basic functions and charge for the premium version. Most Android owners work fine with the free version (for example, not many people want a VPN). These applications are very easy to operate, and most of them feature a file Survey button when opening the application. Among the apps listed in our article linked above, Bitdefender Free is an excellent choice. It is lightweight and offers decent functionality in its free incarnation. When you download and open Bitdefender Free, this is what you will see.

Kevin Convery / Android Authority

Click on scanning device button, and Bitdefender will start scanning your phone for malware.

Android Anti-Malware Scan

Kevin Convery / Android Authority

When the scanning is finished, the results will be displayed. We got a clean bill of health on this check. If Bitdefender finds malware, it will automatically delete it. If this is not possible, it will give you the option to purge the offending file, delete it, or move it to quarantine. Most anti-malware applications work in a similar manner.

Android anti-malware scan results

Kevin Convery / Android Authority

Remove any apps other than Play Store apps

Now that we’ve determined that your phone isn’t infected at the moment, we need to cover the possibility of a corrupt app on your phone that hasn’t moved yet. If there is an app on your phone that you have not downloaded from the Google Play Store, it is unfortunate that it is suspected to be a default because the apps are usually not available in the Google Play Store for some reason.

Sometimes it’s because the app performs a function that violates the company’s terms of service. Sometimes it is because app makers or distributors want to put spyware or other malware in their apps. They know Google won’t allow it. Although there are sometimes infected apps in the Store temporarily, Google regularly checks their inventory to remove malware. If you want to make sure your device is safe, remove all apps from your phone or tablet that you didn’t download from the Google Play Store.

What about the future?

Keeping your Android device free from malware is a vigil. Here are some steps you can take to make sure that you don’t find any malicious code on your phone’s bridgehead:

  • Continue to take all the normal security steps you’re probably already familiar with, including never clicking on links in emails or text messages unless you’re 100% sure they’re safe, and locking your phone with a PIN when you’re not using it for a while.
  • You can use an antivirus app on your device. For real-time protection, consider a monthly subscription. However, antivirus software on a PC is pretty much essential. With Android, if you follow basic security practices like not opening suspicious messages and emails, avoiding third-party apps outside the Play Store, and other similar precautions, you may find that antivirus software is not necessary for all users.
  • Google Play Protect is a feature of the Google Play Store that can scan the Play Store apps on your phone or tablet and compare them to the versions in the Store. Any changed app on your device will be highlighted. If you only use Play Store apps and scan with Play Protect regularly, it will be hard for anyone to damage your device. Search for Play Protect in the Play Store to access the tool.
  • Each Android update included security fixes and solutions to known vulnerabilities in the previous version. The longer the Android version is available to the public, the higher the chance that someone will exploit these vulnerabilities, as more and more hackers find out about them. Among the release updates, there are also smaller Android security updates. You should install these as soon as they are displayed.
  • Turn off password saving. It makes the hacker’s job much easier when your passwords are stored on the same device they are trying to hack.

Read more: How to know if someone is spying or tracking my Android phone

questions and answers

All viruses are malware, but not all malware are viruses. A virus is a type of malware that spreads by copying itself into your phone’s operating system or application code. Malware may be viruses, or it may be ransomware, adware, or a worm. Viruses are a subset of all malware.

Androids do. There are more Android phones in the world than iPhones, so they are a more attractive target for malware makers. There are also more chances of infecting your Android device because you can download Android apps from places other than the Google Play Store. This gives the bad actors a way around Google Play Protect and into your device. The only way to download an app on an iPhone that isn’t from the Apple Store, with its crowded security procedures, is to jailbreak the phone.

no. It is so hard to damage your Android phone that you have to get rid of it. If your phone is badly infected, you can always return it to factory condition and start from scratch.

Clicking on links in text messages can lead to malicious websites. Hackers can even use Bluetooth to push virus-infected files that an unsuspecting person might open.

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