ESET, Nick FitzGerald, Senior Research Fellow at ESET, said,” The information being stored on smartphones is becoming increasingly sensitive, making it more valuable to e-criminals. Android malware has evolved significantly, becoming more frequent and complex, with malware writers having adopted aggressive techniques which are now just as effective on desktops as on mobiles.”
Read on for ESET’S take on how to spot malware and then how to prevent it.
How to spot malware
There are some significant signs that show whether a user’s smartphone has been compromised.
- The device is suddenly not working as usual: If an app suddenly closes or displays several error messages, there might be a malicious code on the device. Additionally, if calls or messages are not reaching their destination as per usual, or if the battery has run out significantly faster than usual, these are signs that malware could be on your phone.
- There are calls made to unknown numbers: These are often to premium international numbers. This will result in the user having to unfairly pay the costs.
- The data usage has skyrocketed: Any changes to normal data usage patterns are signs of a potentially malicious app, which is exchanging excessive amounts of data exchange with cyber criminals.
- Unusual text messages: The user receives and sends odd text messages from unknown numbers, containing commands which get interpreted by the malware to trigger certain actions.
How to prevent attacks
There are few simple things to prevent malware on your smartphone.
- Always update your smartphone with the latest operating systems, and update apps to the latest available version
- Save your data regularly with a backup copy stored on an external device
- Be sure only to use official sources to download apps, where malware should not be present
- Take a look at the permissions you grant to apps when installing or running them
- Use a highly reputable security solution and keep it up to date
- Use a screen lock and remember that a pin or password is a more secure option than a pattern on smartphones
- Encrypt the content of your device
- Try to avoid jailbreaking your device.