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Protect your phone from viruses and malware

Guy smiling at phone

WARNING: YOUR PHONE IS INFECTED! Have you ever gotten one of those fake ads? It's unlikely that your phone will become infected with viruses and malware because all Galaxy and Play Store apps are scanned before they're downloaded. However, sneaky ads or emails can try to download harmful software onto your phone. Don't worry, there are a couple things you can do to protect your phone.

Note: Available screens and settings may vary by wireless service provider, software version, and phone model. 

App permissions

App permissions are an easy and reliable way to keep your phone out of harm's way. When in doubt, if an app seems fishy, don't grant it access.

After you install a new app, you will be prompted to allow or deny certain permissions. Tap Allow or Deny depending on the app.

The Weather Channel permission popup message on phone

Browser settings

Even if you're on a trustworthy site, there can be an onslaught of unsafe or annoying ads. Don’t be fooled by scams. Use the options in Samsung Internet to drive away pop-ups.

Navigate to the Samsung folder in Apps, and then tap Samsung Internet. Next, tap Menu, and then tap Ad blockers. You’ll see a list of recommended content and ad blockers for your browser. Tap an app, and then tap Install to get the content blocker. Hasta la vista, fake ads and malware!

Note: If you are using a different browser app, remember to adjust its security settings instead.

Ad blockers screen with a list of blockers

Remove an infected app

If by some chance you think your phone is infected, follow these steps to remove a virus:

First, completely power off the phone and then power it on again. When the Samsung logo appears, press and hold the Volume Down key. If done correctly, "Safe mode" will be displayed in the bottom left corner of the screen. If "Safe mode" does not appear, repeat the steps above.

Remember, all third-party apps are disabled when your phone is in Safe mode, so it's a great way to figure out what's causing the problem.

Galaxy S10 Home screen with Safe mode displayed

To remove potentially infected apps, navigate to Settings, and then tap Apps. Select the desired app, and then tap Uninstall.

To exit Safe Mode, simply restart your phone and it will reboot normally.

Ways to stay safe

Want to make extra sure your phone is safe? Follow these tips to keep your phone virus-free:

  • Do not download apps outside of the Play Store or Galaxy Apps.

  • Avoid using antivirus apps. Samsung does not recommend third-party antivirus products.

  • Keep your phone updated with the latest software and operating system.

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