Do you get that unexpected Advert popup or sudden browser redirect (usually to a game, e-commerce or adult website) on your Android phone? Well, chances are you’ve been hit by an Adware. In my previous article on managing unwanted Android applications (see https://www.hovatek.com/blog/how-to-remove-bloatware-on-an-android-phone/ ), I explained what Bloatware are and how to manage / remove them. In this guide, we’ll be discussing Adware on Android phones and how to get rid of them. For PC users making use of Google Chrome browser, see https://www.hovatek.com/blog/how-to-remove-adware-from-google-chrome-pc-browser/ .
What are Adware?
Adware are programs / scripts which serve advertisements (mostly unsolicited) to target users. The adverts being referred to here could either be media (for viewing / listening) or sponsored applications (for installation).
How do I know when my phone has been infected with Adware?
Adware don’t necessarily have to be installed on your Android phone to do their job. They could be embedded in websites you visit. Some symptoms to look out for include:
- Frequent popup adverts (whether while using your phone or visiting a website) on your screen
- Constant redirects to Google Play Store, E-commerce websites or Download websites
- Unsolicited applications being automatically installed or updated on your phone
I see adverts saying “Your phone is at risk, you have virus, scan now”, is this true?
Ignore them, they’re just advertisements (or even Malware) and nothing more.
Are Adware dangerous or can they harm my phone?
Adware are often more annoying than dangerous since what they do is flood your phone with unsolicited adverts and app installs; degrading user experience in the process. Some Adware are however a security (and bandwidth) risk as they collect personal information and force-install other unsolicited applications.
How could my Android phone have gotten infected by Adware?
Adware could infect your phone as a result of the applications you install and spammy websites you visit.
How do I remove Adware on an Android phone?
Some measures to implement when infected with or plagued by Adware include:
- Use a browser that supports Ad blocking like UC web browser
- Uninstall all suspicious applications
- Install a good Antivirus like AVG , Avira , Malwarebytes or Avast and scan the phone
- Do a factory reset either under Settings > Storage or in Recovery mode (see https://www.hovatek.com/forum/thread-479.html)
- Format (wipe the entire ROM) the phone then re-flash the Stock ROM. This method helps eradicate Adware at the /System level
How do I protect my Android phone from Adware?
- Avoid installing applications indiscriminately
- Avoid frequenting websites that popup / popunder several ads while you navigate
- Install an Ad blocker apk like Adblock Plus
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