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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

Does Your Phone or Tablet Have a Virus? 5 Steps To Help You Keep Your Device Safe

Let’s face it, large-scale virus threats are everyday problems. While it used to be true that smartphone and tablets never got viruses and malware, they are major targets to hackers because of the important information we store on them. How many of you use your smart devices to access banking and other financially sensitive data? I know I do. You can’t use your desktop, laptop, or your smart device without worrying about viruses crawling into your devices and infecting your screen. With threats changing everyday, it’s hard to tell what alerts real or which ones are designed to scam you out of money. banking, and apps. The simple truth is viruses don’t announce themselves on your device if they are infected. Those annoying alerts that pop up on your phone are usually hoaxes designed to steal your money. How can you tell if your phone or tablet is infected? Make sure your device isn’t doing the following things:

Signs Your Smart Device is Infected:

Your Battery Draining Faster: If you find yourself constantly plugging your device into a wall to charge it, it’s a possibility it’s infected. Like biological viruses, digital viruses can take a toll on your phone because the virus is constantly using the resources of your phone to scan and steal data.

You are Experiencing Pop-Ups: You can’t avoid pop ups on websites when surfing the web, but when you are seeing popups anytime you surf the web on your device, especially for products or services that seem suspicious, you probably have a virus. Never click on the links in these pop ups because they are designed to infect your device more.

You are Using More Data: Most apps for smart devices use up your data, but a virus can only survive with a constant connection to the Internet. Even if you have an unlimited data plan, check your mobile phone statement every month to verify your data is within your normal habits. Letting a virus got unchecked on your device could cost you extra money.

Your Apps Are Crashing: One of the great things about smart devices is that most apps are stable and you don’t have the problem with them crashing like they would on a desktop or laptop computer. If you notice that apps are crashing on your devices, it could be infected. Viruses are designed to disrupt the normal operation of your device.

Unknown Apps Appear: Virus like to download strange apps to your device. Keep a mental inventory of what stuff you’ve downloaded to your devices. If you don’t recognize an app on your device, delete it immediately.

Steps to Keep Safe:

Use the following steps to keep your devices safe from viruses. You should be able to handle these yourself, but if you are clueless, don't hessitate to give us a call at Integral to help you out.

Android devices:

Install Anti-Virus Software. Android devices are more prone to viruses because any developer can upload content to the Google Play Store. Hackers know this and will upload viruses that look like legitimate apps. Anti-Virus software will warn you if you accidentally attempt to download something you shouldn’t. Consider using Eset Mobile Security and Antivirus to protect your device.

Remove Unknown Apps. If a strange app shows up on your devices, delete it immediately. If you can’t remove the app normally, you may have to go into ‘Safe Mode’ in order to uninstall the app.

Backup Your Device. If your device becomes infected, reseting the device back to factory defaults may be your only option to get it working again. If you reset the device, you will lose all of your files, so have a good backup. You can achieve this by enabling Google Drive and Backup on your device.

iPhone or iPad:

Update your Device. Apple does a pretty good job keeping track of threats out on the Internet. Whenever there is an iOS update for your iPhone or iPad, update it.

Backup Your Device. It’s rare that your iOS device could get an infection, but if it does the only way to make sure the infection is removed is to reset the device back to factory defaults. If you have a lot of information stored on your iPhone or iPad, use Apple’s iCloud backup service. It will backup everything on your device which will come in handy if you have to reset your device.

Viruses should be taken seriously, because they aren’t going away anytime soon. As we all rely more and more on our mobile devices, hackers will find new ways to infect your device and steal your data and make your life a nightmare.

How else can you keep up with the latest tech tips and cyber security alerts? Subscribe to my YouTube channel ‘Burton Kelso’ There are hundreds of videos designed to help you get the most out of the technology you use in your home or business.

Burton Kelso is the Chief Tech Expert at Integral. They offer tech support to homes and businesses all over the Kansas City Metro. He regularly appears as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Kansas City Live, Better Kansas City, FOX 4 Morning Show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, Internet security and gadgets. You can find Burton on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on his YouTube channel. He can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at

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