How to remove malware on an Android phone

If you have discovered that your Android phone or tablet has malware, you should take immediate action to remove it. A good first step is getting an internet security suite such as F-Secure TOTAL. You can try the full version for free.

These instructions assume you are on an Android device. If your computer has malware, check the guides for Mac and if you are on Windows, refer to F-Secure Labs’ instructions.

Viruses, trojans, worms and other traditional malware on Android devices

Your phone is the trusted device with which you access all your social media accounts, email, banking and much of what is important in your life. This makes it a prime target for hackers and criminals. Additionally, access to premium SMS services can provide criminals with a revenue stream by sending fraudulent messages and padding your phone bill.

The simple way to get rid of traditional malware is to run a full scan on an internet security suite, such as F-Secure TOTAL and proceed according to its recommendations.

The biggest threat: Apps

Many apps demand extensive rights to use the Android features and most users gladly provide them. This would not be a problem if the software developers wouldn’t exploit that access. When the developer is not well-intentioned, things can turn south fast. Be careful what permissions you grant, and feel free to let intrusive permission requests affect the app review score!

If you suspect something is not right with your application, restart your phone in safe mode and uninstall the suspicious application. Then rescan your phone with an internet security suite such as F-Secure TOTAL

More complicated threats

If you have a case of a more drastic malware, the most certain way to get rid of malware is to make a backup of your working files, do a factory reset on your device and reinstall. 

After getting cleaned

When you have removed the malware, rescan to make sure nothing was left behind, update your Android operating system and applications to make sure you don’t leave any vulnerabilities open.

Make sure you will not get infected again and get protected with F-Secure TOTAL. You can try it 30 days for free. 

If you connect to public WiFi with your phone, do not browse insecurely. You can stay secure only by using a VPN, such as F-Secure FREEDOME VPN, that is included in the F-Secure TOTAL suite.

Try free for 30 days

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