Can Android Get Malware From Websites?

Eighty-four percent of the world has smartphones, making the world more connected than ever before. The result is that most of us are online more than we’d like to admit. Of course, that often means using apps like WhatsApp or Instagram. But, since we use our phones for everything, that also means going on websites a fair bit, whether to read the news or for entertainment.

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And while you may be wary about the websites you’re visiting when using your PC, that same restraint typically doesn’t extend to your phone, as it has so many security features, and many of us believe phones aren’t susceptible to viruses. But, as more phones are getting attacked, that myth is quickly being debunked. So far, nearly 3.5 million malicious programs have been developed specifically for phones.

How Do I Check for Malware on my Android?

Since hackers have recognized that smartphones are a treasure trove of valuable information — typically, you’ll have your banking app, passwords, and personal information saved on the device — they’ve started targeting phones as much, if not more, than PCs. Now, one in five phones likely contains or has contained malware. 

It’s figures like these that mean you could already have malware on your Android phone. If you suspect you have malware on your phone, this is what you can do to check for malware on your Android.

Determine if Your Phone is Portraying Common Tell-Tale Virus Signs

Similarly to PCs, Android phones have certain telltale signs that they’ve been infected. You can check if your Android phone has malware by identifying if it’s struggling with the eight common signs associated with malware on phones. Your phone doesn’t need to meet all the signs to have malware; having one or two signs should confirm that your Android phone has malware.

Unfamiliar Charges on Your Phone BillKeep a watchful eye on your phone charges as unfamiliar — and frequent — charges are a common telltale sign that your phone has malware on it. Typically this malware will sign you up for various subscriptions on other apps.

These will often be micro charges, allowing them to fly under your radar.

  • Slow or Poor Performance

Most Android phones are built to last for some time, especially phones with significant RAM. This means that even when your phone’s storage is low, your phone shouldn’t be slow. This isn’t the case when you have malware because it could be using storage to run in the background. If that’s the case, your phone’s performance will begin to decline. Apps crashing and your phone overheating are also common signs.

  • New Apps Appearing on Your Phone

When your Android phone is compromised with malware, it can override any security features that prevent your phone from downloading other apps.

If you’re wondering why malware would do this, the purpose is often to inflate the Google Play download stats of the other apps it’s downloading, making them appear legitimate.

These apps could then have adware or spyware, adding to the amount of malware on your phone.

  • Unreasonable Data Consumption

Often when malware is on your Android phone, it will use data to execute its nefarious intentions. This occurs in the background preventing you from noticing it. But, if you realize your mobile data is going quickly, malware could be the reason.

  • Your Contacts Are Receiving Spam Messages

Malware can also take over your contact list and messages and start spamming your contacts. The purpose of sending these spam messages is often to get the malware on more phones. Most often, these messages will be sent from your number — leading to higher charges.

  • You’re Receiving Spam Messages

But receiving spam isn’t only limited to those on your contact list. You can also fall victim to spam messages as the malware could be signing you up for various subscriptions, or it could share your details with unscrupulous characters. Any uptick in spam messages is sufficient proof you have malware on your Android phone.

  • Constant Ads

Also known as adware, malware can infiltrate your phone and start flashing ads on other apps. It can also change your phone’s browser’s home page and download apps for the purpose of showing more apps.

Adware is also the most common type of malware on Androids, accounting for 50 percent of all malware on Android phones.

  • Your Battery is Losing Power Quickly

When apps — that often are undetectable — start running in the background or running plenty of ads, they drain the battery quickly. 

Therefore, if it’s taking your phone a few hours to go from a full charge to needing to charge, you may have malware.

Use an App to Scan Your Device

If you’ve been dealing with issues on your Android phone for some time, it may be hard pinpointing one concern that points to having malware on your Android phone.

If this is the case, you can opt for scanning your phone with this two-step process.

  • Install a Reputable Antivirus App 

Start by using a reputable antivirus, preferably one that is verified on the Play Store. 

Most antivirus apps will include a free version that allows you to scan your device for malware. However, premium options usually provide a more thorough scan of your Android phone.

  • Run the App

Once you have the app on your phone, navigate to the scanning feature located in the app. It should only take a minute or two for you to find the apps containing malware or the malware on your phone.

This isn’t a foolproof method as dozens of new threats are being developed every day, meaning that you may still have malware on your phone.

So, even if your antivirus says you don’t have a virus or malware, keep close attention to your phone to determine if it has telltale signs that it has a virus. You can try comparing your battery life or performance to others with the same phone as yours or go a few hours without using your phone but still keep your mobile data on to see if your phone is still using data even when you’re not actively online.

Can Your Phone Get Infected by Visiting a Website?

It’s common knowledge that downloading apps from websites that aren’t Google Play can lead to your phone getting infected with malware. But, you probably don’t know that your phone can get infected by visiting a website.

Websites don’t work like apps that you download. Instead, your phone can get infected by clicking on a foreign link that initiates the download of a virus, but you can also get malware without clicking on a link. If the website is compromised or contains malware, it can look for exploits in your Android phone’s operating system, a web browser, or a vulnerable app to install malicious code.

Can You Get Malware by Visiting a Website?

Yes. Some websites are compromised or built to spread malware. 

If you visit a website like this with your Android phone, you can get malware by visiting a website.

Can Samsung Phones Get Viruses From Websites?

Although Samsung phones are known for their safety, they are still vulnerable to attacks, especially if you’re not careful when visiting websites.

If you’re not downloading foreign apps on your Samsung phone, clicking suspicious, or opening random files, the only way you’ll get a virus on your Samsung phone is by visiting a website with malware on it. Specifically, websites that use drive-by downloads to infect your phone. 

If your Samsung phone doesn’t have the latest updates, it’s easier for these websites to install malware on your phone.

How Does Malware Infect Phones?

There are only a few ways your Android phone can get malware. Of course, you can get malware on your phone by connecting it to an infected device, but most malware that infects your phone will infiltrate it through one of the four methods listed below.

Drive-by Downloads

Drive-by downloads infect your Android phone when you visit a malicious website. These websites exploit vulnerabilities within your operating system, web browsers, or installed apps to attach malicious code to these that then connect to another PC that downloads the rest.

Dangerous Links

Clicking on a suspicious or malicious link can initiate a drive-by download or virus download on your phone.

Apps Containing Malware

Just because an app is on the Play Store doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain malware. Researchers have discovered at least 35 “clearly malicious” apps on Google Play, but there are potentially hundreds of others with malware contained in their code.

What’s most surprising is that many of these apps have millions of downloads and plenty of fake reviews singing the apps’ praises, making them difficult to spot.

Downloading one of these malware-infested apps, you’ll get malware on your phone.

Unsecure Wifi Connections

Unsecure wifi connections can make your phone susceptible to malware as your phone can is linked to the network. Those on the network, or the network itself, can exploit vulnerabilities on your phone to install backdoors — a type of malware that allows a third party to gain remote access to your phone. 

What Does Malware Do to Your Phone?

It depends on the type of malware you’ve downloaded. But, most often, the malware installed on your phone is either adware, spyware, crypto mining malware, or bank Trojans.


We briefly touched on this before, but adware inserts ads on almost every app on your phone. Its purpose is to earn those who use adware money by displaying ads. These ads are also more likely to be targeted as the adware steals personal information, browsing history, and app history to display relevant ads.


Spyware is a bit more malicious than adware as it gives third-party access to your camera, microphone, location data, and files, allowing them to spy on you without your knowledge.

Cryptomining Malware

For cryptocurrency transactions to be viable, they need nodes or mining rigs to validate these transactions. Disguised as legitimate apps, a crypto mining trojan will use your phone to mine for a specific cryptocurrency, often using a lot of data and causing your phone to overheat because it’s a data-intensive function.

Bank Trojans

A bank Trojan disguises itself as a legitimate app, but its purpose is to steal banking information from users who conduct banking business — think money transfers, bill payments, and managing investments or stocks — from their phones. This malware wants to steal bank login credentials to steal money from your accounts.

You can save your phone and sanity by keeping apps and your OS up-to-date, avoiding clicking on suspicious links, linking to every free wifi you can find, and downloading files. Of course, you should also consider getting reputable antivirus on your phone. Antivirus will protect your phone from more sophisticated attacks and give you peace of mind that opening a file on WhatsApp or email won’t lead to your phone being infected.

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