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Malware is out to get you. It’s a sad and unfortunate truth: regardless of your device, becoming infected with malware is a very real possibility when software installation is involved. For a long time, malware was isolated to Windows due to its dominance in the computer market, eventually moving on to infect Mac and Linux computers (to a lesser degree). Now, malware presents a threat to mobile devices, including Android. Are you prepared?

The immediate question is, how does malware get on an Android device in the first place? After all, most users only install apps through the Play Store, and Google keeps a tight watch over that to make sure malware doesn’t squeeze through, right? Not entirely. Suspicious apps have been known to make it onto the Play Store A Google Play Malware Can Infect Your PC Through Your Mobile Device [Updates] A Google Play Malware Can Infect Your PC Through Your Mobile Device [Updates] We all know about the threat of malware. We know our PC can get infected, we know our mobile device can get infected. Sometimes, it’s even possible for our PC to infect our mobile device,... Read More . And then there’s the whole issue with using a third-party app distributor to install cracked apps Cracked Android Apps and Games: Read This Before Downloading Cracked Android Apps and Games: Read This Before Downloading The statistics don't lie: Most Android malware comes from outside Google Play. Downloading cracked apps -- or any type of app -- from a shady website or untrustworthy third-party app store is the way most... Read More , which can also result in malware.

Is your Android infected without you knowing? If so, how can you cleanse your device of these impurities? And how can you keep yourself protected in the future? Keep reading to find out.

Signs of Android Malware Infection


Just as on a computer, there are some warning signs that can alert you to the presence of a malware infection on an Android device. The gist of it is this: if something begins acting out of the ordinary and you haven’t made any significant changes to your device, the problem might be malware related.

  • Unexplained data usage. A lot of malware exists to collect data: account details, credit card numbers, contacts lists, etc. Once it has this information, the malware app needs to relay it back to whoever created that malware – and in most cases, this information transfer will result in strange spikes in data usage.
  • Poor phone performance. Depending on the age of your device and the severity of malware infection, your phone’s performance might take a hit. If you experience a slowing down, you might have a malware infection – especially if a reboot doesn’t alleviate the problem.
  • Reduced battery life. Since most malware are designed to sit in the background and run all day long, you may notice a dip in your battery life. More severe cases of malware will kill your battery faster than mild cases.
  • Dropped phone calls. Sometimes your calls will drop due to poor service. Other times, the culprit could be malware interference. Most of the time, poor service will be the right answer, but when you start dropping more calls than normal, it could be indicative of malware.

Removing Malware From Android


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The best way to remove malware from an Android would be to, unsurprisingly, install a malware removal app. Just be sure to install a reputable one. How silly would it be if you accidentally installed malware while trying to install a malware remover? Here are some free ones that you may want to check out:

  • 360 Mobile Security: 360 can scan your device, whether manually or automatic, and provide protection based on its ever-updated cloud database of threats. It can detect vulnerabilities on your device and optimize your settings. It’s quick, to the point, and effective – not to mention the fact that it has one of the most beautiful app interfaces I’ve ever seen. For a deeper look, check out Erez’s 360 Mobile Security review 360 Mobile Security for Android: One Of The Best-Looking Free Security Tools Around 360 Mobile Security for Android: One Of The Best-Looking Free Security Tools Around One of the key advantages of Android is that it is a wide-open ecosystem. This also makes Android potentially risky - which is where antivirus apps come in. We've previously looked at Lookout and Advanced... Read More .
  • avast! Mobile Security: avast! can scan your device manually or according to schedule. When browsing, it will detect and block malware-infected links, and it will monitor all incoming and outgoing traffic for threats. Other advanced features include anti-theft measures, a built-in firewall, and SMS/call filtering.
  • AVG AntiVirus Security: AVG’s app will scan all new files and apps for potential threats, including malware, spyware, and viruses. On top of that, it can identify insecure settings and provide tips for plugging security holes. There are also some advanced features, like traffic monitoring and anti-theft measures.

Keeping Your Android Free of Malware


The only way to completely prevent malware on your Android is to never download any apps, never plug the Android into a computer, and pretty much live in a bubble for the remainder of the device’s lifetime. Well, that’s not exactly practical, so here are some tips you should know to minimize the chances of contracting malware.

  • Check app reviews. When you find a new app to download, always read the reviews first. If the app is problematic in any way, some of the reviews will make note of it and you can move on. If the app doesn’t have any reviews, you may want to steer clear until it does.
  • Check developer’s track record. Okay, so let’s say there’s an app you really want but there are no reviews on it and you don’t feel like waiting. You can always check the developer’s other apps to see if they have a reputable track record. If this is their first app, though, you’re back to square one and your best bet is to be safe than sorry.
  • Be wary of third-party app markets. The truth is, all app markets have some degree of risk to them. If the Play Store can let slip a few malware apps, then it’s safe to assume that no app markets are completely safe. At the very least, stick to the reputable ones like the Amazon Appstore How To Install & Use The Amazon Appstore To Get Awesome Free Apps! [Android] How To Install & Use The Amazon Appstore To Get Awesome Free Apps! [Android] How many apps do you currently use on a daily basis? The phenomenon of mobile apps has truly changed the way we operate when it comes to customization of our devices. Years ago, you would... Read More .
  • Be careful when granting Superuser privileges. For those of you who have rooted your Android devices, make sure you limit Superuser privileges only to the apps you trust 100%. If you grant Superuser access to every app that asks for it, then you’re just asking for malware to gain full control of your device.
  • Run malware scans regularly. This shouldn’t be a problem if you installed one of the apps above since they all have the ability to schedule scans. But whatever you choose to use, be sure to make a routine out of scanning, whether it’s once a day or once a week.


Now, with all of that said, don’t freak out. Many happy Android users have gone years without ever contracting malware, so it’s not like you’ll find it around every corner just waiting to jump you. However, it’s always good to be prudent when it comes to security and it’s better to know about it than bumble along in ignorance. Take heed and keep your Android device safe!

How else do you fight and protect yourself against Android malware? Share your experiences with us in the comments.

Image Credit: Diagnose Android Via Shutterstock, Virus Shield Via Shutterstock

  1. Ike Nnajidemma
    September 11, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Many thanks, the 360 mobile security wiped out over 25 threats of malware in one scan. It works!


  2. Kristians
    July 21, 2016 at 8:45 am

    I have root and I use kingroot. It shows that two apps: Email service and keychain poses serious treat to system security. I deleted them (Device was VERY laggy before it) and on next day they showed up again. Any help? PLEASE

    I don't know does there is something with computer but these things kinda appear when I charge my phone with usb

  3. advert killer
    June 16, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    I have to partly agree on how 360 security looks but 5 minutes of it was all i could stand. Theres more adverts in 60 seconds in 360 security than there is in MS Edge on a good day. it had to go. you got any better ideas?

  4. Help
    April 17, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Please help, due to malware, alot of third-party apps are download without me noticing it. And now, when I on my phone, it keeps loading the opening scene. I cant open it anymore please help.

    • Kristians
      July 21, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      Looks like you will need to do hard reset.. I know that sounds sad, I Will have to do it also.

  5. Marcus Loo
    February 16, 2016 at 12:20 am

    Hey guys,i have aproblem getting rid of this trojan virus.I need serious help here.

  6. Razvan
    December 21, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    (ROOTED PHONE)I've just buied a phone. Few days ago, I downloaded "aptoide" for Minecraft.after I installed"Minecraft", my android gone crazy (maybe virus)... It was downloading lots of adult apps and CleanMaster and DuSpeedBooster. What can I do? My phone die slowly...I factory reseted my phone few times but every single time I tried to login in Gmail account, a app show me in the bottom of screen "EXIT..." (if i press it, it does not do anything). What I can do? I CAN'T make anything... :(

    • arcy
      December 27, 2015 at 2:42 pm

      me too, my phone goes crazy, how can i remove the EXIT?

    • victor
      January 2, 2016 at 10:07 am

      ampatit-o si eu. nu prea stiu ce sa mai fac. daca afli ceva da-mi si mie un semn aici. mersi.

    • Ankit
      February 27, 2016 at 3:27 pm

      i m having the same prob is there any solution

    • Abhi
      June 6, 2016 at 5:00 pm

      me222 same problem on my HCL ME tablet
      pls tell wat 2do now..........................,

  7. renuka
    November 30, 2015 at 5:28 am

    i haven't install any application but i received unwanted images and advertisement in my phone after reset my phone also i got like this how to eliminate this please help me

  8. Diogo Maia
    November 9, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    I have accidentaly fully infected my phone, tried hard reset and no luck, also restoring from computer, and no go, is there any rooted solution for this? please help

  9. Jan Paolo Ofiana
    July 17, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    im going to try and do this now, since my android tablet might have been infected by a malware or something. cause when i opened it there was a quick launcher installed already and a couple of apps that i didn't eve downloaded. in the first place.

  10. David Marshall
    June 8, 2015 at 4:57 am

    Try force stop and then disable

  11. David Marshall
    May 28, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Daily racing app is a virus and will not uninstall. I have tried AVG, AVAST and Mailwarebytes, they all pick it up as a virus, they say its been uninstalled but then it comes back and says it is not installed but again it comes back.

    • Robert Cheetham
      June 5, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      I have this too, did you find out how to get rid of it? Or even where it came from?

      • David Marshall
        June 5, 2015 at 3:10 pm

        Yes, in my case Daily racing it was coming in through Snappea. As soon as I uninstalled Snappea Daily racing could be uninstalled but as soon as I reinstalled snappea again Daily racing came back. I have decided not to use Snappea any more.

        • Robert Cheetham
          June 5, 2015 at 3:14 pm

          Yes I eventually tracked it down to snap pea, which is a real shame as I liked the product functionality enough that I would even pay for it. I emailed them complaining but I don't expect a reply. :(

        • David Marshall
          June 8, 2015 at 4:45 am

          Yes your right SNAP PEA is a good program apart from the unwanted installs.

          I installed ''Ad network detector'' which scans your Android phone or tablet for the presence of ad networks on your device. This app has eliminated all the adverts which kept appearing.

        • David Marshall
          June 8, 2015 at 4:54 am

          Looks like your email to SNAP PEA has had a result. I am running a new install of SNAP PEA and it is not downloading any unwanted games, so far.

        • David Marshall
          June 8, 2015 at 10:02 am

          No it's back again. SNAP PEA definitely installs DAILY RACING and 'PERFECT CLEANER which uses a lot of internet data and CLEAN MASTER.

        • Robert Cheetham
          June 25, 2015 at 8:37 pm

          What a shame, you had given me hope. :( Thanks for letting me know.

  12. Rob
    March 24, 2015 at 12:04 am

    Malware on my Samsung android tablet won't let me boot into the main system. How do I fix this? Please reply to Thanks

    • Jack Larkin
      September 1, 2015 at 10:33 am

      Try booting into safe mode. Hit Power, and then when you see the screen turn on hold Vol Up and Vol Down until you arrive at your lock screen. All 3rd party apps should be disabled. From there you might be able to remove it. Another way of entering safe mode is to hold your finger down on the Power Off dialog until it gives you the option, but you have to be booted for it to work. Good luck!

  13. Rod
    December 28, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    My phone a malware that locked my phone claiming to be from FBI and demanding that I pay a $500.00 penalty to avoid prosecution on several charges. Even being accused of these types of charges could destroy anybody's life, even a person that leads a spotless crime free life. This malware is even one listed on the FBI's site. First, how do I get past their lockout in order to run any software to "cleanse" my device. Secondly, why isn't more being done to the perps ruining internet and peoples lives? Especially when those that are put in place to protect us are obviously fully aware it is happening. Please I need help!

    • Brian
      January 17, 2015 at 10:01 am

      Rod the way to remove the power of your device is go to the Play Store from a computer until the computer to install a Trojan removal app to the device that has virus on it the one I used was made by avg I believe clean master makes one as well don't just install the AVG antivirus it has to be a virus removal tools search for that in the Play Store of your computer of course you have to be logged into Google on that computer

    • Brian
      January 17, 2015 at 10:02 am

      The virus not the power sorry, voice to text error.

  14. jason
    March 3, 2014 at 2:37 am

    my lookout security did not find any malware but apps on my phone randomly open on their own. how can I fix this?

  15. Micheal prima
    February 22, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    I install AVG Antivirus security to my android phone ,then when i scan it, i found a malware to my launcher,,I need to uninstall it, but the problem is , i can't uninstall that app co'z that app is the permanent launcher of my phone when i buy it.. what can i do to delete or erase that malware, ?? it affect to the performance of my phone? help me please.

  16. Theresa
    December 11, 2013 at 5:24 am

    II received a malware from an android armor that is supposedly made to protect me from such things,...How do we know which protection is reputable, And it cost me $45.for six month...CRAZY..

  17. yumilu
    October 2, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    i have ignored the threat of malware.. in my android mobile.. please help me to fix it!

  18. Dean
    September 20, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    So Microsoft Windowns must be secure. Cuz it ain't open source...?

    • Saumyakanta S
      October 9, 2013 at 6:19 pm

      it should have been the case , but you see , MS is too much "open" , I mean there are millions of people creating viruses , and programming for MS is so much easy.

  19. Abid M
    September 20, 2013 at 4:16 am

    This is the main reason why i am using Iphone. I think Apple IOS is secure OS so far.

    • Kevin H
      September 20, 2013 at 11:24 am

      They said the same thing about Apple's computers.

    • Kevin H
      September 20, 2013 at 11:24 am

      They said the same thing about Apple's computers.

    • Saumyakanta S
      September 20, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      and now they are infected . IOS is secure cuz its not open source.

    • Joel L
      September 20, 2013 at 5:13 pm
    • Bruno
      December 17, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      Thats also one of the reasons why I use apple. I wouldn't run banking software on a Android device for example. And by the way, I read the Kaspersky article, it agrees on the Android platform being highly sensitive to malware and the only reason they would like for Apple to be more open is because it would enable Kaspersky to write (and sell) software for Apple/iOS devices.

  20. C Jacobs
    September 19, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    If you frequently steal apps from shady websites you deserve every virus and malware infected thing you get.

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