Got a Virus Warning on Your Android? Here’s How to Respond
Did you get a pop-up alert Virus warning on your Android phone saying your smartphone has malware? Follow these steps to verify if it’s true and how to fix it.
Sometimes, you might get an alert on your phone that says your device has a virus and needs cleaning. This could happen when you visit a webpage or just as a notification. These alerts are often fake and come from browser apps more prone to infection. But sometimes, they can also be genuine.
What are the signs of a genuine virus alert versus a scam? How can you react to these alerts safely? And how can you prevent them from popping up on your device?
The Difference Between a Fake Virus Alert and a Real One
Sometimes you may see notifications or pop-ups on your smartphone that warn you about viruses. These can be fake or real, so you need to be careful. The best way to know if a virus alert is trustworthy is to look at how it appears on your phone’s screen.
Did this pop-up show up while you were visiting a website? Or did you click on an ad that caused this alert? If so, the warning is likely fake. Moreover, you might get fake virus alerts on your browser if you accidentally allow a dubious website to send you notifications.
However, genuine malware alerts show up as normal notifications, mostly from your phone’s security suite or one of the antivirus apps you have. Getting such a warning from your phone’s built-in security may worry you, but notifications from antivirus apps don’t always mean your device has malware—we’ll tell you why soon.
How Should You Respond to Fake Notifications?
Seeing the virus notification as a pop-up could mean you are on a phishing website or an untrustworthy advertisement. To protect yourself, you should exit the website and never visit it again. The same applies if you get this warning from an advertisement.
You should remove any dubious app from your device that sends you such an alert and look for a trustworthy replacement. But you should be worried if you see the warning as a browser notification. A malicious website may have taken over your browser or tricked you into agreeing to receive such shady notifications.
Instead of clicking on these notifications, please find out how your browser allows them and turn them off. The way to see which websites you have given permission to send you notifications may differ for each browser. For example, if you use Google Chrome, you can do this:
- Open the Chrome.
- Open Settings by tapping the three dots at the top-right corner.
- Go to Notifications.
- Check the Sites section and look for sites you don’t trust or recognize. If you see one that is sending you notifications, turn it off.
- After that, go back to the settings of Chrome and go to Site Settings > Notifications.
- Disable the toggle beside Notifications.
- To stop notifications from any dubious websites in the Exceptions list, tap each website individually and disable the Show notifications switch for each one.
To turn off these alerts, visit the official website of your browser and follow the instructions there.
Try clearing the browser cache, checking the default search engine, and resetting the browser’s settings if you still get fake virus alerts after disabling the notifications. You can also uninstall and reinstall the browser app, if you can, to ensure it is virus-free.
How Should You Respond if the Notification Seems Real?
To ensure your device is virus-free, scan it with the security tool with your phone or another antivirus app. Do this if you get a virus alert from any of these apps.
If you want to scan your Samsung device for security issues, go to the Settings app and find Battery and device care. Tap on Device Protection and then Scan phone.
After the scan, you will get a notification to tell you if your device is safe. Remember that the scan might vary depending on the maker of your Android device.
In addition to running a security scan, removing any recently installed apps or suspicious files that could potentially harm your device is important. Additionally, consider undoing any recent actions that may have caused an infection. It’s also recommended to review the list of installed apps on your phone and uninstall any that you don’t recognize or remember installing.
Read Also: How to Get New Emojis on Android
How to Stop Receiving Fake Virus Warnings
If you want to avoid getting annoying alerts on your Android device later on, follow these steps:
- Always use Google Play Store to download apps, which will help you avoid unsafe apps from unofficial sources.
- Please avoid websites that look shady or unsafe, and don’t click on them. Also, don’t allow any pop-ups to send you alerts.
- Regularly scan your device for malware using the built-in security scanner. This will stop the virus from penetrating deeply.
Stop Virus Warnings from Bothering You on Your Android Device
We often panic when we see fake virus warnings on our screens and end up clicking them by mistake. This can take us to the hacker’s website or make us install a harmful app. This article will help you understand the reasons behind these virus alerts on your smartphone. You will also learn to tell if the alert is real.
Use your phone’s antivirus tool to get rid of it if it’s real. Don’t let the fake warning trick you. Also, disable the notifications from the apps that send these alerts.