Can your mobile phone get a virus? Yes – but you’ll have to look carefully to see the signs

With nearly 84 per cent of the world’s population now owning a smartphone, and our dependence on them growing all the time, these devices have become an attractive avenue for scammers.

Last year, cyber security company Kaspersky detected nearly 3.5 million malicious attacks on mobile phone users. The spam messages we get on our phones via text message or email will often contain links to viruses, which are a type of malicious software (malware).

There’s a decent chance that at some point you’ve installed malware that infected your phone and worked (without you noticing) in the background. According to a global report commissioned by private company Zimperium, more than one-fifth of mobile devices have encountered malware. And four in ten mobiles worldwide are vulnerable to cyber attacks.

But how do you know if your phone has been targeted? And what can you do?

How does a phone get infected?

Like personal computers, phones can be compromised by malware.

For example, the Hummingbad virus infected 10 million Android devices within a few months of its creation in 2016, and put as many as 85 million devices at risk.

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