The growing mobile malware scourge makes news every month. Perhaps you’re one of the lucky folks who’s never had an experience with fraud or malware, but fraudsters who make a living with it are reaching new lows these days. If your data’s being siphoned off, your privacy invaded or your money being swallowed up, how would you know? Here are a few things to keep an eye on.
- Has your phone’s behavior become slow or erratic? Does it act sluggish when performing the same functions it did rapidly in the past? Is its battery draining at a more rapid pace than usual?
If malware has entered your phone’s system, it could be performing activities in the background, such as placing unauthorized text messages to premium numbers, sending out bots that gather and transmit your contact information, or other mischief.
- Do you notice when you’re talking on your phone that your calls get disturbed, or even dropped completely, for no apparent reason?
Same answer. Each form of malware has a specific task, whether it’s a bot that collects and sends out your data to a remote location, or a Trojan that opens up and releases viruses, or bots that have other specific jobs. Bad code is programmed to go to work once it’s downloaded and receives a pre-determined signal to wake up. What you could be noticing is background activities that are interfering with your phone’s normal functions.
- Check your phone bill carefully. Are there charges for SMS messages you know you didn’t send, or are small charges appearing that you can’t explain?
Some malware has the ability to dial out text messages from your phone to “premium” numbers, which automatically charge you for the call. This can be happening repeatedly without your knowledge. This happens in the background – you don’t see or hear it happening, but you’ll see the charges on your bill – they can become very expensive if they aren’t caught early. Small charges on your bill might indicate that your account’s being tested for viability.
As a matter of course, always check your credit card and bank statements. If you’ve downloaded malware that might have stolen your passwords or financial data, you could see your credit being used for things you never dreamed of buying.
- Are you receiving odd SMS or voice mail messages, or have your friends asked why you’re sending them strange messages?
Some malware is designed to steal your contacts, as well as spreading spam or phishing ploys to everyone on your contact list. If someone mentions a weird email from you, get your phone scanned and protected immediately.
Before you download apps, take a moment to look up reviews, and make sure you get all your apps from reliable sources, such as Google Play. Never, ever accept a free app, and try to avoid clicking on spammy ads and offers. Educate yourself about URLs, and how to spot one that doesn’t look right. Change your password frequently and keep your geo-location features turned off when they’re not in use. Finally, don’t respond to any SMS messages, voice messages or emails from a sender with whom you’re not familiar.
Strong mobile security protection can detect and prevent any form of nasty malware that threatens your phone. With just a single download you can cross malware concerns off your list. Do it today, and relax about malware.