To answer the question in the title, technically, no. Viruses haven’t really been found on phones, whether on Android or iOS. The next question then, is why do you hear stories from friends who talk about their phones getting damaged because of a “virus” invading their devices?
What most people term as “virus” are actually malware or threats. Viruses are just a type of malware, but there are other kinds of malware, and phones get damaged usually by these other kinds of malware, not necessarily viruses. So, if you want to be more educated on what these things are that can potentially damage your phone, read on!
Viruses and Malware: What’s the Difference?
The tendency for most people these days would be to clump everything dangerous that disrupts the normal operations of their phone into virus or malware. There is a tendency to interchange these two, using malware when we really mean virus and vice versa. The thing is, as mentioned earlier, there hasn’t been any discovery of a virus in either iOS or Android, the two most common types of operating systems smartphones all over the world run on. So, since it’s actually malware that may be causing your phone to be in its buggy condition. Thus, it pays to know the difference between these two so that you’ll know better what to do when you suspect one of them (most probably, a piece of malware) is wreaking havoc on your phone.
Malware is a catch-all term for any type of malicious software, regardless of how it works, its intent, or how it’s distributed. A virus is a specific type of malware that self-replicates by inserting its code into other programs. Computer viruses have been prominent since almost the beginning of the commercial internet: The first one was created in 1982 for the Apple II, and other versions quickly followed.
So, How Did It Get Into Your Phone?
So, now that we know that whatever it is that’s making your phone lousy to use is most probably some type of malware, the next question you might be thinking of is, why does your device have it? How did your phone get contaminated? The most common way of phones getting malware is through apps that you may have downloaded into it that ended up introducing harmful malware instead of you finding whatever that app is, useful. Malware may also get into your phone through attachments that you’ve downloaded from an infected email. SMS or text messages may also bring malware to your gadget, as you unknowingly click on some link on those messages, not knowing that link contains harmful malware. Of course, malware might get siphoned to your phone if you connected it to a device like a laptop or a computer that has malware. Finally, you might have visited questionable websites through your mobile browser. That may also be your entryway to a world of malware.
Generally, you won’t get a direct indication of the presence of malware on your phone. It works sneakily in the background, but some symptoms will arise that can confirm its existence.
How to Stop the Mess Your Phone Is In
If you think your phone has somehow acquired some form of malware from one of the causes mentioned above, the most important thing is to stop the malware from totally messing up your phone. The earlier you get rid of that malware, the better it is for your phone. If you don’t act on it as soon as possible and let it fester, the bigger the damage your phone will incur, not to mention that it will put the other gadgets that you usually connect with your infected smartphone at risk as well. There are apps that fight against malware for both Android and iOS, so acting as soon as possible is important.
Android works a little differently from iOS in a variety of ways. Apps have more access to the operating system, which is a double-edged sword. Android antivirus software can be legitimately effective, unlike iOS antivirus software. However, viruses can do more damage as well.
Prevent Instead of Getting Rid
Of course, prevention is better than cure. The amount of effort you will need to invest in avoiding these malware altogether is definitely less compared to the effort you’d expend on getting your phone clean from all the malware that may already have infected it. Not to mention the time you’ll spend suffering because of your underperforming phone! There are some things you can easily do to prevent viruses from wreaking havoc on your phone and don’t worry – they’re not that hard to do at all.
Always use the original operating system. Never Root your Android device until you are aware of what you are doing. If a malicious app gets root access, it can deprive your device of essential security patches and features. Also, it can act as a backdoor for hackers.
But while you now know that viruses don’t really infect your phone, you know what gets damaged? Your laptop. And if a virus may have caused your laptop to lose all your important documents, get in touch with us so we can help you.