In all walks of life, being infected with a virus tends to be a bad thing. Android is arguably one of the more susceptible operating systems, and there have been a number of exploits over the past few years. From adware and pop-ups to stealing personal information, there’s been a lot of high-profile problems.
Here’s a list with five of the most dangerous viruses out there, as well as additional information about what you can do to get rid of malware.
Shedun is a well-known type of Android malware software that made the list in late 2015. It can automatically root your device, leaving it open to a stream of adverts. It’s repackaged with legitimate apps to make it hard to catch, and it has been found pre-installed on a number of Chinese devices in the past.
It’s difficult to remove it entirely, and that includes factory-resetting the device. You’ll have to root and reflash the device depending on your model and firmware which is difficult for many users. Here’s a guide if you’re thinking about getting started.
The Godless virus can be found on apps in the Play Store, which means it’s an extremely dangerous prospect. Even if you stick to the rules, there’s a chance it’ll infect your phone if you’re not careful.
It’ll root your phone when the screen switches off, so you’ll probably have no way of knowing as it infects your device quietly and efficiently. Godless is a family of malware, meaning there are multiple types of virus. It can be found on devices running Android 5.1 and lower.
3. Cloned & copied apps
Popular apps are always going to be an easy target for hackers and scammers, and clones are a great way to get files onto devices. The best thing to do is to make sure that you’re downloading an app directly from the correct source.
A guide app for Pokemon Go has infected over 500,000 devices. Users unwittingly gave them access to their information, and it could happen to you, too, if you’re not careful. The worst thing is the more downloads it has, the more trustworthy it becomes. It’s tough to stay vigilant, but limiting the amount of apps you download will also help.
Hummingbad (great name) made headlines in July 2016. It can steal user information and download apps without your permission. Cyber security company Check Point claims that it has spread to over two million devices worldwide. It infects the phone by initiating a download when you visit a suspicious website on your browser.
What can you do to get rid of Hummingbad? A factory reset may work, although it can sometimes be embedded deeper into your device. You may have to get a new phone or attempt to root the device.
The Gunpoder virus is installed through third-party emulators for Nintendo consoles found outside the Play Store. Emulation is always a grey area, but it’s no reason to hack people that love older games on the go.
To stay safe check reviews before downloading a random APK file from the Internet. There are a number of emulators available on the store for a price, so it’s sometimes worth paying a little extra for that added peace of mind. After all, it’s a fraction of the cost of the games themselves.
It’s annoying if you’re one of the few to be affected, and every OS is susceptible to viruses. Even if you’re especially careful, the methods of entry are getting smarter. Giving personal information to apps is bad enough, but it’s worse when they take it without asking.
If you think your device might have been infected with malware, you can always take steps to get rid of it. Antivirus software could be helpful, while we can also help with annoying pop-ups on Android.
Prevention is often easier than removal, so don’t just download the first option you see. Take the time to make sure that the source is legitimate, and stick to the Play Store if you can.