How to Remove Malware from an Android Smartphone

Given the ‘wild west’, never-quite-bullet-proof nature of the internet, smartphones have always been susceptible to viruses and malware, and even big-name Android-based devices aren’t immune. So what if you believe your Android smartphone has been compromised? What’s your next move?

Of course, you won’t want to waste much time before scanning your device for malicious software or any unsavoury bugs. You could have a peruse yourself, but that could take some time, especially considering how data-heavy smartphones have become. A better answer: use an Android antivirus (if you have one installed).

You’ll now need to run a comprehensive scan. If something malicious gets flagged, such as malware, the next step is damage control: removing it and preventing any further potential loss. Begin by holding down the power button to access the ‘Power Off’ functions, then restart your smartphone in ‘Safe Mode’.

Next, uninstall the app/s in question by going to ‘Settings’, or at the very least, force close them (if you’re tackling uncertainty). Search through any other apps you believe may have been infected, keeping in mind that, by nature, malware tends to spread. Uninstall any such apps. Finally, if you didn’t have one already, now is the time to install an antivirus suite.

Note that it’s worth doing some research prior to selecting an Android antivirus app, ensuring that you’re getting exactly what you need. Make sure it’s from a reputable provider, and that its app can carry out a comprehensive scan capable of identifying the latest vulnerabilities and dubious apps, etc.

Watch out for free antivirus services, keeping in mind that they rarely offer the power, intuition, features and support of their paid counterparts. A legitimate, dialled-in service should flag up/offer valuable insight into any suspected apps/files worthy of your attention and possible concern.