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We have a canonical question on how to handle a PC and one for servers.

Recent activity highlights that we also get questions about "possibly infected" Android and iOS. (More Android than iOS?). They tend to get closed pretty quickly, and hence deleted, so there is not many to find via search.

This presents us with an opportunity to create a "Help! I think my Android/iOS is infected! What do I do?" canonical question.

Should we provide a dupe target for these questions so that we can provide some kind of help? Can such a question be constrained enough to provide concise instructions that would be applicable across a wide range of issues?

Do we need one for iOS and another for Android, or can they be combined?

  • The systematic and theoretical approach will be the same anyway besides it's another environment where more or less disciplines are required to become the same effect (new knowledge?), then its just the idea of serving users a new path where mobile OSes are involved instead of the traditional desktop-form. – tungsten Sep 21 at 17:57
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    You might be interested in browsing top questions tagged with 'malware' on Android.SE for the possibility first... – Andrew T. Sep 22 at 6:48
  • @AndrewT. well, we could simply send visitors there – schroeder Sep 23 at 6:30
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    The server question is actually a cross site duplicate from server fault. I think this is on topic, so we should host the answer on this site. – Anders Sep 23 at 8:43
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Yes, we should have a duplicate.

Closing as a duplicate of a canonical question is far the best user experience for the person asking the question, and for people finding it via google later. Just having the question closed, or marked as a duplicate of some specific question describing different circumstances doesn't quite do it.

But it's not easy to ask the right question. One problem is that what people belive is caused by a virus often isn't. A lot of these questions are about situations where it's unclear if it's a virus or not. If we close "I got a error message on a website, do I have a virus?" as a duplicate of "do a full factory reset" we are not helping anyone...

In the PC question I specifically excluded this from the question by just stating that there was a virus. I don't know if that was a good idea for that question, and I don't know if it's a good idea for this one. Just wanted to highlight the issue.

Just brainstorming questions here...

  • Do I have a virus on my phone? To broad! There's no way to give a general answer.
  • I have a virus, what do I do? Good in theory, but in practice this is not what people are asking.
  • How do I do a factory restet? To hands on to be on topic.
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    I'm not sure how to handle the "I see something weird - is it a hacker/virus/FBI/aliens/etc.?" type questions. Those need a philosophical canonical question to point them to. Those need a "why is my device acting this way?" pointer to first get people up to speed before they start focusing on a security impact. – schroeder Sep 23 at 8:54
  • @schroeder Yeah. Maybe it's just best to leave that problem to the side. It's just that most mobile virus questions I see are of that kind. But that is just my impression, no actual statistics involved. So I may be wrong. – Anders Sep 23 at 8:57
  • I hear you. And, just spitballing here, what about a humble "nuke from orbit" answer? If there is a concern and the person is unable to quantify the risks of the potential issues, then what are the risks of doing a factory reset and reload from cloud backups? Should people hesitate to do that? Can we reliably offer that as a base answer? – schroeder Sep 23 at 9:00
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    @schroeder There's a lot of time and energy going into it, risk of messing something up and loosing your family photos, you have to call your niece and ask her do it, etc. I think a "nuke from orbit" + "are you sure that is really a virus" could work. – Anders Sep 23 at 9:03

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