Your Android phone has pop-ups! Is it infected?

dreamstime m 77510525 - Your Android phone has pop-ups! Is it infected?

You’re browsing the internet on your Android phone. You’re probably using the Chrome app. Everything seems normal until a pop-up invades your screen. Maybe it says “Congratulations, user” and offers you a chance for a gift. Or maybe it shouts out a dire warning that your phone is infected with viruses and that you should follow its instructions to remove them.

What you’ve just experienced is a form of malvertising, malicious pop-up ads that try to convince you to give up personal or financial information or to download malware onto your device.

Is my phone infected?

Your first worry may be that your phone really does have a virus of some sort, but chances are good your phone is fine. The sort of pop-ups we’re talking about are malicious, but they’re not viruses. If you’re still concerned about hacking, then check out our list of seven clear-cut signs that you’ve been hacked.

Android malware is a real issue. If you suspect your problem runs deeper than malvertising in your browser, then follow our steps for removing questionable apps. You can also download and run an anti-virus and anti-malware app like the popular Malwarebytes.

Make sure pop-ups are blocked

Google has been taking steps to protect Chrome browser users from malicious pop-ups that try to direct them away from legitimate sites. Chrome automatically blocks pop-ups by default, but you can double check to make sure the setting is on. Open Chrome and tap the three dots in the upper right-hand corner. Choose Settings and tap on Site settings. Look for the “Pop-ups and redirect” setting and check that it’s set to block.

By Amanda Kooser

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