Gifts in the pockets of millions of people around the world, for many mobile phones are the main computing hardware used in the most diverse everyday tasks. Increasingly powerful and complex, they also suffer from problems that until recently only associated with desktops and notebooks: the dreaded viruses.
The main targets are devices Android, as a result of the more open characteristics of the platform, which even allows the installation of applications without Google's approval. However, who uses the iOS is also subject to threat action, especially when your device has been subjected to jailbreak, which allows you to download apps that are not in the App Store. Regardless of platform, some symptoms help detect the presence of malicious software on your device.
Here are some symptoms that could be the cause of your malicious mobile phone infection:
- Increased data usage
Have you noticed that your data package, which was left over for the month, now barely provides enough internet to use for a week? This is a sign that some malware may be using background processes or trying to transmit information from your device to an attacker.
- device crashes constantly
It is common that, after a while, our devices stop running the new application versions so well. However, this is not an overnight process, and if failures start to appear constantly for no apparent reason, it could be the result of the action of some virus or malware.
- Pop-ups start to appear
Many malware that infect mobile phones are not intended to steal your data, but rather to spread advertising — usually in a very invasive way. Advertising pop-ups are a symptom of this type of action, they take your device's screen even when ad blockers are activated. Although they seem less harmful than other threats, viruses of this type can also contribute to higher battery consumption and even crashes, if your device cannot handle the amount of windows generated by them.
- Unknown apps
It is common for us to install many apps that are forgotten on the device, and we only remember their existence when we decide to do a cleanup. Many viruses take advantage of this behavior to disguise themselves as fake apps, which must be uninstalled immediately to ensure their protection.
- Increase in mobile phone bill
While many threats take advantage of your wireless connection or data packet to spread, others resort to SMS messages to do so. An example of this is the ZTorg Trojans, detected in 2017, which sent texts with links to contact lists in an attempt to infect more targets. This increased the victims' phone bills, serving as an alert that something was wrong with their devices.
While it's not uncommon for mobile phones to get quite hot, especially when carrying out intense activities (such as electronic games), it's good to be aware if this happens all the time. If your device is warming up even when you close processes and leave it to sleep, this is a sign that a virus is acting in the background and consuming your resources.
- Higher battery consumption
The symptom linked to the previous item, the higher battery consumption is associated with a higher activity of your device. If a payload doesn't last as long as it used to, it could be a sign that a virus is consuming resources, and it's worth scanning with specialized software to detect and remove the threat.
- Actions You Don't Recognize
Did a contact ask about a suspicious message that you don't remember sending? This could be a sign that your device is contaminated and trying to spread through your contact list. It is also common for malware to make strange likes on social networks and even publish in your name to convince other people to become infected.
- Constant update requests
Have you just updated all your apps via Google Play or App Store, and still get messages that one of them needs a new version to be installed? This could be a result of malware, which may be using these warnings as a way to convince you to execute packages that amplify attacks and further compromise your personal information.