Dealing with a virus or malware on Android may appear overwhelming but it’s actually easy to do. In this short troubleshooting guide, we’ll show you how to deal with a virus infected Galaxy A9 which keeps on sending SOS messages on its own. The device’s screen also randomly turns black without user input.
Problem: Galaxy A9 sends texts and SOS messages on its own and screen turns black by itself
Hello. I bought the Samsung Galaxy A9 5 days ago, the phone is in very good condition, it has no scratches. Now the screen is going black every day. The phone is working but the screen is not responding to the touch and stays black. The screen returns when I’m doing a hard reset. I don’t think it is good to make that many hard resets to the phone.
Also my phone sending SOS messages to my contacts. This problem repeats every day, I took the phone to the lab but they didn’t fix it. Any idea what can cause the problem and how I can fix it? Best regards.
Solution: It’s not normal for an Android to constantly show a black screen. There must be something that triggers it. This same reason may be the cause why your device is sending text messages on its own. Learn how to deal with this problem by following our suggestions.
How to fix a virus infected Galaxy A9
Your device might have a virus. The primary suspect of your issues is probably a malware. It’s highly unusual for a brand new device to have the problems you mention. Some type of malware may use a device’s SMS or MMS to send premium messages. If you are absolutely sure that you did not send those messages to your contacts or friends, then it’s safe to assume that a virus may be to blame. No legit app will send texts on their own. Whether our suspicion is correct or not, you should not fail to consider malware as the reason for these odd behaviors in your phone.
Wipe the phone (factory reset). The first troubleshooting step that you want to do in this case is to ensure that you clean up your device. You can do that by wiping it with factory reset. Then, once you’ve cleaned up the phone, you should exert all efforts to avoid getting your device infected with a virus or malware again.
Before you factory reset your phone, make sure to back your files up. You don’t want to lose your photos, videos, contacts, documents, and many more after a reset. In making your backup, we suggest that you use Samsung Smart Switch for it.
Once your backup is safe, follow these steps to factory reset your phone:
- Turn off the device. This is important. If you can’t turn it off, you’ll never be able to boot to Recovery Mode. If you are not able to shut the device off regularly via the Power button, wait until the phone’s battery is drained. Then, charge the phone for 30 minutes before booting to Recovery Mode.
- Now, press and hold Power and Volume Up buttons for a few seconds.
- Release these buttons once Samsung Logo appears.
- Next, you should see a Warning screen, just press the Volume Up button to confirm.
- You should enter into the recovery mode.
- Under this mode, tap on ‘Wipe Data/Factory reset’
- Give your confirmation and perform this action.
- Once this action is completed, tap on ‘Reboot system now’.
How to prevent malware on Galaxy A9
Install an antivirus app. Now that you’ve cleaned up the device, the next step for you is prevent the bad app that may have spread the malware. To do that, first you want to ensure that an antivirus app is running on the device before you reinstall the rest of your apps. Android viruses or malware usually spreads via other apps. Sometimes, removing the original app that spread that virus may also remove the virus itself. Because identifying a bad app usually takes time and effort, you should try an easier way by installing an antivirus app first instead. If you’re lucky, the antivirus you install may effectively deal with the bad app and the virus at the same time. Keep in mind that this route does not always work because there’s a constant cat-and-mouse game between antivirus developers and virus/malware publishers. This Google Play Store page lists some of the free antivirus that you can try. Be sure not to install more than one antivirus app on your phone to avoid causing problems.
Unroot (optional). If you rooted your Galaxy A9, this may have lowered your device’s security allowing malicious apps to install themselves. By rooting your phone, you are actually making it easier for apps to access otherwise secured parts of the software. Hackers can then install other apps that may hijack the system causing the problems you have at this moment. Make sure not to unroot your phone, especially if you can’t keep the system secure.
Rooting is only recommended for advanced users who knows how to handle situations that poses security risks. If you are new to Android, or if you don’t know much about Android at all, you are better off never rooting your device.
Observe on Safe Mode. If you don’t want to perform a factory reset right away, you can also try to see if you can remove the app causing the problem in safe mode. If you noticed that the problems started after you installed an app, try to delete that app first and see how it goes. If the problems go away after that, then you just saved yourself from more troubleshooting. However, if nothing changes, you should go ahead and boot the phone to Safe Mode. In this mode, all third party apps will be suspended, including the potential malware. If the screen works normally on safe mode but not in normal mode, you can bet an app is causing it. Here are the steps on how to restart your device to safe mode:
- Turn the device off.
- Press and hold the Power key past the model name screen.
- When “SAMSUNG” appears on the screen, release the Power key.
- Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
- Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
- Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
- Release the Volume down key when you see Safe Mode.
To identify which of your apps is causing the trouble, you should boot the phone back to safe mode and follow these steps:
- Boot to safe mode.
- Check for the problem.
- Once you’ve confirmed that a third party app is to blame, you can start uninstalling apps individually. We suggest that you begin with the most recent ones you added.
- After you uninstall an app, restart the phone to normal mode and check for the problem.
- If your Galaxy A9 is still problematic, repeat steps 1-4 until you identified the source of the issue.
How to avoid malware. When it comes to preventing malware in Android, there are a number of ways that you must do.
Firstly, you want to ensure that you exert all effort to screen your apps well. By that i mean knowing what app to install and checking if it’s from a reputable source. This task falls on you. Not all apps, sourced from both Google Play Store and third party sites, are safe. Some are designed to look legit to entice users to install them. After some time, the app will change into its sinister form and cause problems. Other apps may be subtle as they are meant to steal information from a device. They can come and go.
If you don’t screen what apps you install on your system properly, there’s a big chance that you’ll most likely end up with a compromised system. Needless to say, it’s your responsibility to ensure that only good apps are added to your phone. After factory reset, make sure that you install apps individually. Try to install official apps from reputable companies only and avoid products from unknown developers. If you are not sure whether an app can be trusted or not, visit its Play Store download page and check the reviews from other users. You can also do a quick Google search to see if the said app is a known malware or not.
Secondly, you want to be careful with websites you visit on your device. Some websites may be booby-trapped. The same is true when you click a link on emails. As a general rule, only visit websites you know is from a reputable company.
Thirdly, you want to keep the system up-to-date. Updated OS and apps lessens the chances of bugs and security threats.
Finally, you want to have a good working antivirus app, just like what we discuss above.
If you think that a device has been infected by malware, it’s always a good idea to address the problem right away by cleaning or wiping the phone with factory reset. If the phone’s software has been modified, or if you rooted it, you should return everything to stock and only run official software. Once you’ve done that, you can then go ahead and follow our tips to lessen the chances of malware from penetrating your device again.