The only way to ensure that your phone is virus free

There is only one way to ensure that your smartphone is virus free.

Woman using her smartphone is surprised by a virus is your phone safe

For a long time, smartphones were relatively immune to malware and viruses created by hackers. But nowadays, with so much of our lives contained within our phones, they’re becoming more of a target.

When you consider what’s on your phone: personal information, photos, credit cards, concert tickets, boarding passes and, well, you get the idea. Smartphones are now probably richer pickings than your laptop or home computer.

So, how would you know if you’ve picked up a virus, malware or another nasty infection? You probably won’t. And most of the anti-virus software on the market is average at best. Still, anything is better than nothing, so take advantage of some of the free ones to give your phone a modicum of protection.

But you know what, the only way to ensure that your smartphone does not contain a virus – and you’re going to hate this – is to do a backup, then reset your phone to its factory settings and start all over again. This includes downloading fresh copies of all of your apps.

How to factory reset your iPhone or Apple device
Use iCloud to backup your device and all personal data on it.

First, go to Settings > General > Reset. Then tap ‘Erase All Content and Settings’ to delete all apps and data from your device. Now you should restart your iOS device and set it up again. To do this, sign into iCloud and restore your backed-up data. Then, if necessary, download new copies of your apps from the App Store. If you’re not happy with the results, you may need to visit your Genius Bar where an Apple pro will scan your phones for bugs.

How to factory reset your Android phone
First, make sure you back up all of your important data, including your photographs and other files. Then go to ‘Settings’ and scroll down and tap ‘Backup and reset’, then select the ‘Factory data reset’. In the Reset menu, you’ll be warned that the process will erase all the data on your phone. Tap ‘Reset phone’ then enter your security PIN, password or pattern. After another warning, tap ‘Erase Everything’. Your phone will then reboot and erase your information. It will then reboot again and prompt you through a renewed set-up process.

Now you have a fresh phone onto which you can install new apps.

It may sound like a hassle, and it is – let’s not muck about – but it’s the only way to ensure that you have a fresh, infection-free phone that you can trust to hold your personal data.

Have you ever had a smartphone virus? Do you use any sort of anti-virus app for your phone?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    23rd Mar 2017
    While a fairly savvy iPhone user, I'd like to get a couple of things clarified.

    My understanding of backing up your device, to either icloud, or your computer, is that everything is stored in the backup file.

    So to do a backup, reset your iPhone and then restore your data, wouldn't that be a redundant thing to do if you suspect you have a virus or malware?

    When you restored your data, if you have corrupted apps etc, wouldn't they then put the phone back in the same state as before you reset it?

    I'm no expert on this, but I for one would like to know if my assumption is correct. If so, is there another work around?

    Also what are some of the better AV / malware apps to use, to at least have maybe a little peace of mind?
    23rd Mar 2017
    Harvey09, you are 100% correct. This is the silliest thing I've heard to "remove a virus". If you backup your device, doesn't matter where to, then when you restore it you will more than likely just put the virus back on the device again. It would depend where the virus is located - if it is one of the apps then it may be removed by a fresh install of the app - but most viruses will locate themselves in a few locations so a restore of data will just restore the virus to your system.
    24th Mar 2017
    and even if you do a backup and you store it all on your computer say!
    Then do a reset, and restore some of your data not all will be, not only that much will be updated, which may change some of the way your apps were working before and you may lose some important information, which i'm not happy about, but one of mine gripes is Google is now trying to take over many areas. LIke i put some music on my phone, well now its trying to dominate what i should play on there, and if i want new stuff, i can't just load it on there now, I have to download it and that means paying for it. Also i just decided i wanted to see the weather forecast for my area on my phone, and its like its the first page now, and i can't get rid of it at all? Google YOU SUCK, and i will find a way to rid you off my phone i'll work on it. How is this user friendly!
    25th Mar 2017
    Is this article a joke - back up the phone, reset than restore the "virus" back to the phone again from the backup. Even if you only back up the files (photos, music etc) the virus may well be on those files. Also IF there's a virus backing up to your computer could infect the computer.

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