Mobile devices are not only a target of cyberattacks if they belong to people of high interest, such as politicians or investigative journalists. Spyware can choose a person randomly, but the good news is – there’s a way to get around it.
Keep reading to find out how to scan viruses on an android phone and protect it in case of infection.
Do you Need Antivirus on Android?
Mobile devices are prone to catching malware, and many of us aren’t aware of these sophisticated technologies that could compromise everything on our phones.
You might wonder why anyone would be spying on you, and the answer is maybe you have information somebody else wants, whether it’s product development or a business strategy.
Since these spying techniques are invisible to an average user, you could benefit a lot from installing a cyber-security app specifically designed for mobile devices.
What are the Warning Signs?
Your phone can get infected even without the physical presence of a hacker. He can just install, or somehow make you install spyware. These infections happen when users accidentally click on malicious links or use an unsecured WiFi public network.
There are signs giving away that your phone may have caught a virus, e.g. you’re having battery issues, you’re using way more mobile data than before, ads and pop-ups suddenly start to appear even when you’re not browsing websites, or your phone is generally misbehaving. Your friends getting odd messages from you can also be a sign of malware.
How to Scan Virus on an Android using a PC?
Wondered how to scan virus on an android using a PC?
There are ways you can use your PC to scan the viruses on your Android phone. A good start would be inserting your SD card into a PC and scanning it as any other USB device. Many antivirus products offer this option, such as AVG Antivirus.
An advanced step would be to get familiar with the Quick Heal Total Security feature called PC2Mobile Scan. This feature only works from Windows PC, so this won’t benefit you as much if you’re a Mac user.
If you don’t have Quick Heal installed on your PC yet, you can easily download it from their official website. The interface is no different from other security software you’ve used in the past. Still, it has one bonus option that you’ll find among scanning options: Mobile Scan – precisely the one we’re interested in here.
So, the only thing you have to do is connect your mobile device to your PC via a USB cable or Bluetooth, scan it, and, if detected, clean any viruses. The whole process is intuitive, and you’ll get clear step-by-step instructions right on your screen. It works with most phones, even those not on the list.
However, it will only properly function if you have:
- Android – Installed PC suite or device driver and enabled USB debugging and Stay Awake options.
- iPhone – Installed and updated iTunes.
- Windows Phone – No older version than Microsoft Active Sync 4.5 on Windows XP or Windows Mobile Device Center installed on your Windows 7-10 and Windows Vista.
Know that this is a part of Quick Heal’s all-in-protection suite, and it doesn’t require you to install a specific app on your device as the other mobile antivirus apps do. This is the only security software of this sort, and in fact, the company refers to itself as the first mobile phone virus scan solution.
How to Check Your Android Phone for Malicious Apps?
If you’re reading this, you’re probably already suspicious of malware on your phone. Before you start panicking, let’s go over these steps to check if there really is something intervening with the normal functioning of your device.
- Go to Apps & Notifications/Advanced/App Permissions (or Permissions Manager), and remove anything that seems odd.
- Go to the Google Play Store app, tap the Profile Icon/Play Protect/Settings, and ensure that the option ‘Scan device for security threats’ is turned on.
- Additionally, here you can turn on the ‘Improve harmful app detection’ if you’ve downloaded apps outside Google Play.
- Do a Security Check by opening ‘My Google Account’ on a web browser and following the instructions.
- Check on Google’s security system to see which apps and websites have saved your passwords and other log-in information, and remove everything that seems unnecessary.
- Again, via the Google security system sign out of all devices you don’t use frequently to make sure the adware and malware aren’t coming as a connection to them.
- If you still think there’s some malware left, reset your device to factory settings.
Best Way to Protect Your Phone from Viruses
Malicious apps will, in most cases, try to trick you into consciously installing them and permitting them to track your calls, for example. The catch is that they usually hide their motives, and they’re very successful at it.
Here are some tips on how to protect your phone from malware:
- Be aware of the apps you’re downloading to your device, meaning you should check the company’s legitimacy, number of downloads, reviews, etc. And for the love of everything digital, do not download any apps from third parties.
- Always read what kind of permission you are giving away and if that app needs access to your contacts, microphone, camera, etc. This way, you’ll prevent apps from creating administrator roles, which allow them to run on your device without asking for access.
- Not clicking on fishy links in emails or even SMS goes without saying.
- Use a Password Manager for creating and storing strong passwords, such as LastPass for Android. Webroot partnered with LastPass for this purpose.
- Uninstall all apps you don’t often use, especially those you don’t remember downloading.
- Install a security software with a proven record that’ll do regular scans of your device and provide you with additional layers of threat protection, such as Safe Banking or Secure WiFi.
- Think about using a VPN. It’ll keep all your mobile traffic encrypted and safe.
- Regularly update your software.
Best Paid Antivirus for Android
Here at Take a Tumble, we’ve devoted an awful lot of time reviewing some of the best antiviruses for mobile devices. These turned out to be the best security apps for Androids:
Kaspersky Internet Security for Android
Kaspersky’s mobile solution will provide you with the ultimate cyber-security. It covers all the basics, such as 24/7 antivirus protection, with automatic scans that’ll keep you safe at all times. Additionally, it will help you in storage optimisation and the necessary actions in case your device ever gets stolen, such as locating it, locking it, and wiping all data.
As for the special cyber-security features, it’ll provide you with Anti-Phishing, ID Theft, and Anti-Stalkerware features, which will give you insight into how other apps are handling your info. The best part is, it’s among the cheapest antivirus apps out there, coming at a $14.95 price for a yearly subscription.
Norton Mobile Security
If you’re looking for something different, check what Norton’s got in store for you. Its threat protection tools for mobile devices focus on Web Protection and App Security, which scans all your apps for suspicious activity and keeps you from downloading malicious apps.
It also checks for unsecured WiFi networks and therefore prevents man-in-the-middle attacks. Moreover, it has one rare feature that addresses phishing attacks in SMS messages. All of this comes at $32.99, and we advise you to keep an eye on special offers because they introduce them every once in a while.
Trend Micro Mobile Security
Now, Trend Micro is offering essential cyber-security, which consists of protection against ID Theft, Ransomware, and Anti-Phishing, as well as urgent protection in case someone steals your phone. Not only that, parents can rest assured knowing that mobile devices are safe for their children to use with a special Parental Controls feature.
The system optimisation is available under the System Turner feature. The yearly subscription for one device is $32.95, but you can even save a few bucks if you purchase protection for two years at $54.95
ESET Mobile Security
We haven’t mentioned so far the option of safe banking, and we found it in Eset’s mobile security app, but that’s not the only reason we ranked it as one of the best Android antiviruses.
Its free version will provide antivirus protection, scanning in real-time, as well as inspecting any USB devices you may plugin. It can also offer Anti-Theft protection and a Network Inspection feature, which checks if the public WiFi is safe for you to use. It’s also among the most affordable in the market, with a price of only $14.99 per year.
Webroot Mobile Security
Webroot is famous for its small memory usage that won’t affect your phone’s system performance at all, coming at only 7.8 MB and can be downloaded for free from Google Play. They seem to have thought of everything – Anti-Phishing, Secure Banking, Safe Web Browsing, and more.
You can count on 24/7 threat protection and automatic malware scans. You can also include additional security layers, such as the App Inspector premium feature, which scans all your apps for suspicious activity and protects you from downloading harmful apps to your phone.
That’s all you need to know about recognising phone malware, what to do about it, and which security apps are a good fit for you. Our final advice is to wait no more, check your mobile device, and add additional threat protection. That way, you can be carefree and use your phone without worry.
1. Can I scan my phone for viruses with my computer?
You can scan your phone SD card from your computer by simply inserting it into your PC. That way, you can check it like any other USB device. Other than that, the only PC antivirus that can scan your phone is PC2Mobile Scan by Quick Heal.
2. Can I use my Windows antivirus program to scan my Android device?
If you have a PC antivirus suite, check if it offers mobile protection. That means they’ve designed an app specifically for a secure device. Otherwise, computers and phones don’t have the same viruses, so they can’t be treated the same way.
3. Can Android phones get antiviruses?
Yes, many security companies build antiviruses for mobile devices as well. Moreover, both Androids and iPhones have built-in systems that protect them from catching malware, but you will need additional protection in most cases. In our Guide for scanning viruses on Androids, you can find some recommendations.