You have probably received a pop up saying you have a virus on you phone. No, your phone does not have a virus. To say an Android Phone has been attacked by a virus is a misuse of the word. Before you start hitting me, read on. A virus is a kind of malware. And malware is not necessarily a virus.
What is a Virus?
A computer virus is a malware that, when executed, replicates by reproducing itself or infecting other programs by modifying them. When this replication succeeds, the affected areas are then said to be “infected”. For mobile devices, we have not yet found an application capable of replicating. Or an android phone that tries to infect others.
The term “virus” was imported from the definition of computer virus. To be classified as a virus malware has to be able toreplicate. The malware that affects android devices does not have this capacity.
What then is Malware?
Malware, on the other hand, is short for malicious software. This is any software used to disrupt the normal operations of a device. It also includes gathering sensitive information, gain access to private computer systems, or display unwanted advertising. You should not believe messages that you receive saying you are under attack. These are just unethical adverts. Notoriously found on porn websites.
Android malware primarily focuses on gathering sensitive data. Malicious apps also tend to display unwanted ads. These adverts appear pretty much everywhere. From the notification bar to inside other applications at the worst. When you see adverts in unexpected places, its time for a security check up.
How Do you get infected by malware.
The key thing to remember about malware on Android is that you have to actually install the malicious app.
Generally, the google play store is free from malware. If you take care to install applications only from the store, you are unlikely to get malware. Of course, sometimes the system just lets malware loaded applications through. However, these are quickly taken down, as users and security experts report them. The most common source of malware is cracked applications. These hackers need a way to generate revenue, and they turn to shady practices.
That pop up that you just received on your phone calling out a virus, you could call it malware. These are the main sources of malware for android devices. You are scare into believing you are infected, and you click a link to download an antivirus. Instead of sending you to the store, the link goes to a website that contains malware.
How to protect yourself from Malware.
The rule of the thumb is do not install applications from unknown sources. More importantly, stay away from cracks. And the other thing, always check the permissions asked for by the application. Why would you give a flashlight access to your contacts? This is true for all applications, including those from the store. Everyone needs a way to survive, and the hackers survive off of you. By mining and selling your personal information.
If you have a malicious application, the first step is to un-install it. Alternatively, you can use one of the security applications on the store. Take care to download these from trusted names. Otherwise, you risk actually infecting yourself in the process.