It is easy to take the smartphone in your pocket for granted, and even easier to forget what your favorite device really is. The smartphones of the 21st century have more in common with the supercomputers of old than the landlines they replaced, and the fact that they are packed with computing power makes them vulnerable to viruses and malware infections.
As the use of smartphones continues to explode, hackers will surely continue to target them more and more. If you want to keep your device safe, you need to know what the warning signs are, and here are some key things to look out for. If your smartphone is suffering from any of these problems, a hidden virus could be to blame.
A Sudden Spike in Data Usage
It is easy to take your usage for granted when you are shelling out extra cash for an unlimited data plan, but that does not mean you should ignore it. A sudden change in the amount of data your phone uses could be an indicator of infection, and it is something you should never ignore.
Tracking data usage over time is easy, and both iOS and Android based phones give users the ability to see how much they are using and which apps are most responsible. If you have not changed your phone behavior but the amount of data is through the roof, it is time for a deep virus and malware scan.
A Sharp Drop in Battery Life
Battery life is a big problem for mobile phone users, one that has remained a consistent source of irritation since the first model hit the market. Over time you may notice a slow but steady decline in battery life as new apps are added and new features come onboard, and that is unfortunately pretty normal.
If, on the other hand, your battery life drops quickly, a virus or malware infection could be to blame. A sharp decline in the amount of time between charges should always trigger an investigation, whether the culprit is an energy hungry app or a nefarious hacker hungry for your data. Either way a full malware scan is definitely in order.
Slow Internet Connections
You rely on the internet for nearly everything your phone does, from keeping track of your email to chatting with your friends to posting on your favorite social media sites. If your formerly fast internet is now painfully slow, your Wi-Fi network may not be to blame.
While problems with Wi-Fi routers and other equipment can indeed cause slow internet, so can viruses and malware infections. If your seemingly innocent phone is busy shuttling data to an unknown third party, there will be little bandwidth left for you, and it is time to check your phone for infections and send the bad guys packing.
You rely on your smartphone for nearly everything, and chances are it has replaced your computer in many different ways. As the use of the smartphone increases, it is more important than ever to treat the device like what it is, namely a pocket sized computer. Being aware of the warning signs of a mobile infection is vital in the modern age, so pay close attention and be ready to take swift action.