People often don’t realize that their mobile devices or computers are infected with dangerous malware/viruses. This malware can steal sensitive information to banking data such as usernames, PINs, and passwords for mobile banking applications. That’s why it’s important to recognize the characteristics of a smartphone or computer that has been infected with malware, which can be dangerous for the security of your private data and devices.
Malware (malicious software) is a software designed to infiltrate, damage, disrupt, or steal data from a computer device or network without the owner’s permission or knowledge to enable access to sensitive information, steal data, cause system damage, and so on. Malware can get into a smartphone/computer device in many ways. You may have opened a link/file from an unknown source or accidentally installed an application from an unofficial source that has actually been interred with malware by fraudsters.
If you have already opened, installed, and granted permission, your device or smartphone/PC will give very clear signs.
Signs of a Malware-Infected Device
You can recognize signs that your device has been infected with malware when you use it, either for calling or other activities. Here are the signs of a smartphone/PC that has been infected with a dangerous malware/virus:
1. The device heats up
Smartphones or PCs can get very hot when used for too long or under the sun. However, the heat that appears on a malware-infected device will be very unnatural. These devices can be hot when they’re not in use.
This heat indicates that malware is at work. The malware is trying to harvest data and send it to the scammer’s servers within a short time before the .apk is deleted. The heat will last for the first 3-10 minutes.
2. Strange sounds appear when making calls on smartphones
You also need to be vigilant about making voice calls using a smartphone that has been infected with malware. The reason is, the malware will record all calls and send them to the scammer’s server. This recording process will cause a ringing sound when you make a call.
The sharp sound is an indication that your smartphone has been hacked remotely. However, you need to distinguish this ringing sound from the sound that appears due to bad signals, which will sound like a robot.
3. Battery runs out quickly
Smartphone/PC batteries usually have a fairly lengthy endurance under normal use. The average smartphone can last from 6—9 hours for messaging or listening to songs. However, it can drop to up to 50 percent when the phone is infected with malware.
4. OTP SMS appears
One Time Password or OTP is sent via SMS when you make a transaction. If this SMS appears when you are not making a transaction, it means that your smartphone has been infected with a virus. The OTP is requested by the scammer remotely. The next step is to step the OTP code from your smartphone.
5. Difficult to turn off
Another sign that may appear is that your smartphone or PC is difficult to turn off. You will also find it difficult to perform manual shutdown as it will refuse. If this happens, you can be sure that your device has been infected with malware.
6. Glitches appear on your screen
There are other indicators of a malware-infected device that can be seen on the smartphone or PC screen. A glitch or broken screen will appear. However, this glitch will only appear occasionally for a duration of 1-2 seconds. It is different when the device is damaged which makes the screen glitch continuously.
7. Slow-performing device
A smartphone or PC can lag significantly when there are a lot of apps open or a lot of documents stored. However, this change in performance can be very pronounced in devices with high specifications.
8. Notifications or advertisements appear
These notifications or ads can appear after your smartphone/PC installs applications from unofficial sources. The indication is that this notification has only recently appeared, having never existed before.
9. A light turns on
This light can appear on the screen or on the device. This may indicate that the camera or voice recorder is working. This feature is used by scammers to steal your data.
How to Fix Malware-Infected Devices and Secure Your Banking Accounts
If you see any of the signs above, take the steps below to keep your device safe and your banking account protected.
1. Uninstall suspicious apps
Enter airplane mode, then remove the suspicious apps. You can go to the settings menu and select the application menu. Look for suspicious apps and delete them immediately.
2. Change your mobile banking password & PIN
Change the passwords & PINs of your banking accounts. Avoid changing passwords/PINs and usernames from devices that have been infected with malware. You can use another device such as a laptop to change all these passwords or go directly to the nearest bank branch office.
3. Change Debit/Credit card
The safest step you can take is to replace your debit and credit cards with new ones. This is because these cards are connected to your mobile banking on your smartphone, or have been used for online transactions on devices infected with the malware. It is possible that important data such as card numbers, expiration dates, and CVC/CVV have been compromised.
4. Perform a factory reset
The last step you can do is reset your smartphone/PC. This will delete all data on the device, including malware. You only need to restart from the beginning with a clean device.
Those are the signs and safety measures you need to know to fix malware-infected devices. Keep your guard up against fraud schemes that target sensitive information. Find out about other banking scams in Awas Modus.