A guide to Malware in Smartphones and Fake Apps

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We have all probably heard of Malware by now and how it can infect and affect our desktop computers and laptops, but how many of us think of our Mobiles and Tablets becoming infected?

Recent studies show that Malware attacks are slightly decreasing on Laptops and desktop computers and increasing on Smartphones and Tablets.

Statistics show that Smartphone protection take up is a lot lower than with other devices, so because of this, hackers have changed direction and concentrated more on easier infiltration of our less protected devices like our smartphones.

What types of Malware should we look for?


 This is a malware that lives up to its name. It lives in the grey zone of your device, while it may not cause malicious damage, it may track your location and/or Data.

This ‘feature’ often is outlined in the ‘small’ print of software licence agreements, so technically, the user is agreeing to be tracked and served ads, or have their information sold to a third party-lesson to us all to read the Software agreement before we download (how many of us actually do this??)


This popular example of Malware is very aggressive and can be known as an Ad library. This is part of an app that tracks user’s information and targets them with advertisements. A very aggressive form can leak personal information.


Again, this type of malware is extremely popular with hackers. It literally locks the device down, rendering it useless until the user pays the hacker.

An example of Ransomware was when an Android hit happened in 2014, it was in the form of a notice from the FBI or Police. Victims were warned that their devices had been ‘seized’ for accessing illegal material and if they didn’t pay a fee, their devices would be cleared, and all files lost.

Device-ruining malware

Malware has a broad range of ‘abilities’, one of which is creating Ads, that Spam your phone. Other types can spy on everything you do or even occupy your memory, slowing it down and making it virtually unusable. In some cases, hackers have created ‘Spoof/Fake’ Apps that once downloaded, the victim would receive an onslaught of adware, spyware, and viruses.

A potent malware called Android/Power-Off Hijack even exists to trick users into thinking their phone has been switched off. In the fugue state, the phone can secretly make calls, take pictures, and operate – and all without the owner having any idea.  

 How do I know if my mobile is infected?

There are several ways of telling:

Your device is running significantly slower.
You are receiving a lot of Pop-up/Ad messages.
Your device shuts on or off unexpectedly
Your device has new settings or new apps that you haven’t installed.

Your Data usage or phone bill has dramatically increased with no good reason.

How can I protect my phone?

Read the permissions thoroughly for your new app installations. For example, some Torch apps may ask for access to your contacts, ask yourself why would a torch app need this? (it doesn’t!) Be very wary of giving out permissions.

The same applies to software licence agreements, read them, at least you will know what you are agreeing to, and if it is too invasive, don’t agree.

Install apps from a reliable and trusted source.
keep your operating systems up to date.

Finally, and by far perhaps one of the more trusted ways of protecting your device from Malware on your mobile, install a reputable Antivirus Software package  from a trusted company.

Check out the Norton 360 range or the McAfee software range, both helping you to have peace of mind in protecting your device, by helping to keep your personal information secure.

Check out our website for more details: https://simplyantivirus.co.uk/


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