General Question

rojo's avatar

Can android phones get viruses?

Asked by rojo (24159points) September 9th, 2015

If so, how do they get them, what would the symptoms be and how do you get rid of them?

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11 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

There is an anti-virus you can get free for Android,I have it on my Android tablet,and a friend with an Android phone told me about it.
Look for it in the Android store.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

The free one my friend told me to get was CM securities ,I put it on my tablet and have had 0 problems and it was free.

jerv's avatar

Yes, it’s possible, though it’s far more likely that you will install the virus yourself. But before the fanbois get their panties damp over the opportunity to act smugly superior, iPhones can get them too.

You can avoid most of them by carefully reviewing the permissions requested by an app and comparing them to what the app does. If Waze wants my location, then who cares? I expect a GPS app to have access to information regarding my location. But if a game wants it, a little red flag goes up. Many apps may ask for access to your microphone, often for the purposes of voice commands.

Prevention can lead to infection since, just like with computers, many pieces of Android and iOS malware disguises itself as security or utility software. Often free. A little research makes the difference between being protected by reputable software and having your phone under the complete control of a bored Russian teenager.

Personally, I run Avast! as I also trust them with my PCs and prefer to keep it simple by sticking with one publisher. And CM Security is a legit antivirus app, a highly regarded one, that I would consider it myself were it not for good success with a competitor’s products for years.

As for the symptoms, there may be no outward signs. You won’t know when the camera is watching or the mic is listening. If you do online banking from your phone, your first warning sign of a phone virus may be your account being emptied.

Regarding cleanup after an infection, it’s generally best to nuke a compromised system from orbit. It’s not always clear what a virus has done, so it’s best to just assume that no matter how much you clean, there is no assurance that your system is truly clean. A factory reset is the minimum cleaning I would do if my phone or tablet got infected.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Yes, they do, and how you get rid of them depends on what the virus is.

That said, Androids are far safer than PCs.

Silence04's avatar

Yes, androids can get viruses. Java isnt known for its stellar security. And due to all of the fragmentaion of software versions of android, it’s not easy to push out security updates across all devices. Which means your only options to prevent viruses is to be cautious about the sites you visit, the apps you download, and let an anti-virus software take up a lot of resources in the background at all times (and hope they are as current as the virus makers out there).

A friend of mine once had a virus that would play 30 second ads over the speaker every 5 minutes or so. I think that was one was due to a corrupt rooting method.

This is where apple’s golden gate for software come in handy…Essentially the only viruses that can infect iOS are zero day exploits.

filmfann's avatar

Simply installing a new ringtone can put a virus on your phone.

Eerikkibak's avatar

Yes, install new apps, ringtone can get virus to android. Installing one or two safety apps is highly recommended.

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