Has Your Android Phone Been Infected with Malware?

Joel Lee 19-09-2013

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 Scam Apps in the Play Store You Need to Avoid For every amazing app you can find on Android, there's a cheap knockoff waiting to waste your time and steal your money. 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 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. This, in turn, can cause your phone to download unwanted content and increase your data usage How to Tell If Your Phone Is Tapped: 6 Warning Signs How can you tell if your phone is tapped? And can you know who tapped it? Let's look at the warning signs and what you can do. Read More .

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



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:

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.


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? For more tips, take a look at how to protect your devices from botnets The Rise of IoT Botnets (And How to Protect Your Smart Devices) Botnets threaten to hijack and destroy the Internet of Things. Here's how to protect your IoT devices from this terrible malware. Read More that could contain malware.

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

Related topics: Anti-Malware, Smartphone Security.

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  1. Ranjiv
    June 27, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    It gets over heat on my phone's camera when I open my mobile data
    But when I turn on the airplane mode it
    Is not hot

  2. Kathleen
    June 29, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    Why can't I get rid of this turbo cleaner

  3. Ian
    July 6, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Wish something actually worked… I have been reading thousands of posts, blogs, threads, posts…. at some point, we have to realize that once your phone has mallware/addware/virus on it… you are better of buying a new phone, NO software or tricks can help…

  4. Daniel D
    March 28, 2017 at 2:06 am

    I think i have an application on my cell that is becoming a headache, it's " monitor.tool" and this crap tries to install other shit like "airplane and subway" I do not remember having installed that, I rebooted the Cell phone but still with the same

  5. Geti
    January 10, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Well what about those apps that the. Hackers use that spy on your phone stealth

  6. Li
    December 9, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    I have an Android phone, not rooted. There is a malware on my phone. The file is "AddContacts1481281534071.Apk" . This file is mounted in 4 maps in several cache folders. Every time I delete this with Total Commander, in a few days it come back. I do not know which App is activated to download this file automatically in my cache folder. It will display an Icon on my toolbar of my User Interface. This is annoying, because you want to press on the Icon to start the Mallware (data collection). Anybody has this problem? What is your sollution?

    • Li
      December 15, 2016 at 10:08 am

      AddContacts1481716399181.apk is secretly downloaded in the following mounted maps

      How do I know which App open this cache folders to download this apk file and the icon picture

      • Li
        January 4, 2017 at 5:42 am

        More mallware : UcMini, Shuff

  7. 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!


  8. 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

  9. 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?

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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..........................,

  13. 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

  14. Anonymous
    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

  15. Anonymous
    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.

  16. Anonymous
    June 8, 2015 at 4:57 am

    Try force stop and then disable

  17. 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.

    • Anonymous
      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?

      • Anonymous
        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.

        • Anonymous
          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. :(

        • Anonymous
          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.

        • Anonymous
          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.

        • Anonymous
          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.

        • Anonymous
          June 25, 2015 at 8:37 pm

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

  18. 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

    • Anonymous
      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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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?

  21. 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.

  22. 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..

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

    • logic
      January 6, 2018 at 4:10 am

      Its nothing to do with 'stealing apps' its all to do with googleAdDroid. Brand new phone straight out of box... infected as soon as you go on net... why? because google/android is the culprit. Google syndicate ;)