RESEARCHERS have shared several red flags that could indicate a smartphone has been hacked.
Smartphone owners need to remain vigilant about malware or risk their data getting stolen, experts from Keeper Security said in a new blog post.
Malware is a malicious file or code that can infect your phone, desktop, or laptop.
Once malware has successfully infiltrated your device, it can do things like spy on your activity and steal your data.
In more extreme cases, the malicious software can even take control of your device and access your financial accounts.
“Cybercriminals can spread malware through phishing attacks, man-in-the-middle attacks, exploit kits, and drive-by downloads,” the cybersecurity company writes.
All of those attacks typically use social engineering tactics to trick people into downloading malware or exploit security vulnerabilities that install malware discreetly.
To help alert users to the presence of malware, Keep Security shared some red flags to watch out for.
HOW TO DETECT MALWARE ON YOUR DEVICE
Decrease in performance
One of the biggest indicators of malware on your phone or computer is a noticeable and sudden decrease in performance.
“Malware runs in the background and consumes much of your device’s resources,” Keeper Security explained.
“This can cause issues for your device such as trouble starting or shutting down, long loading times, frequent crashes, programs running on their own, quickly drained battery, and error messages.”
If you’re noticing a lot of browser redirects while surfing the net, this could mean you have malware on your device.
That’s because when malware infects your browser, it redirects you to malicious websites that try to steal your data.
“Malware will sometimes even make edits to your browser’s toolbar or homepage,” Keeper Security noted.
“If you notice you have a hard time getting to a specific page or notice discrepancies in URLs, then your browser has been infected with malware.”
Another surefire sign of malware is if you see new applications on your device that you did not download.
It is likely that these new applications also contain malware that can damage your device and steal your data.
They often also take up a lot of storage space on your device and cause performance issues, like battery draining.
Frequent pop-up windows
Frequent pop-ups are a huge indicator that malware has infected your device.
Typically, these pop-up windows feature ads or “error messages” and are caused by adware.
“Adware can sometimes display malicious ads that try to get you to download more harmful malware that further damages your device,” Keeper Security said.
HOW TO STAY SAFE
There are a few things you can do to protect your device from dangerous malware.
For starters, only install apps from the Apple or Google Play Stores this will help to ensure that the apps you download are safe.
Be careful when clicking on links in emails or text messages as these often lead to phishing websites.
It helps a lot to use a security app with malware protection on your device
Always keep your phone up to date with the latest security patches.
These patches can help to patch security holes that malware can exploit.
Source: The Sun