My Smartphone Keyboard Isn’t Working Properly: Is Malware the Cause?

Whether you want to use your smartphone to communicate with friends, browse the internet, or post on social media, you need a functional keyboard.

When a smartphone keyboard is not working properly, performing a soft reset, clearing cache or installing a different keyboard app is enough to solve most issues. But what if none of that helps?

Why Malware Might Cause Keyboard Malfunctions

It’s well-known that Android phones are more vulnerable to malware than iOS devices, but iPhones are vulnerable too—and not just jailbroken iPhones. If the keyboard on your smartphone is glitching, lagging, taking ages to appear on the screen, or not responding when you press a key, your smartphone might be infected.

Malware can lead to smartphone keyboard malfunctions because it typically affects the entire device. Malicious programs cause a variety of issues, including overheating, lags and crashes, a shorter battery life, and so on. Depending on the malware type, your personal information and privacy might also be affected.

Typically, malware consumes a substantial amount of computing power; this is what creates performance issues in the first place. And because the operating system of your smartphone is affected, so are all the programs installed on it, including the default keyboard app.

In short, if the keyboard on your smartphone is not working properly but everything else is, then you probably don’t have malware. But if the keyboard is having performance issues, and you notice other signs of infection, then a malicious program is most likely to blame.

What Types of Mobile Malware Would Cause Keyboard Issues?

But what types of malicious software would cause the keyboard on your smartphone to start acting up?

A Trojan horse, which is malware disguised as a legitimate program, definitely would. The same can be said for adware (malware that displays unwanted ads), spyware (malware that records information without consent), worms (malicious programs that replicate themselves), and especially cryptojackers.

Cryptojacking is an attack in which a cybercriminal hijacks a target’s device in order to mine cryptocurrency. In other words, if your smartphone was infected with a cryptojacker, its computing power would be used to solve cryptographic equations and generate digital currency for somebody else. This would cause all sorts of performance issues, and likely make the keyboard lag.

How to Remove Malware From a Smartphone

If you believe that malware is what’s making your keyboard unusable, the first thing you should do is download anti-malware software and run it. There are a number of free antivirus suites on all major app stores, and most should be able to at least detect, if not remove, a malicious program.

What you should also do is look for any unfamiliar apps on your phone. If you don’t recall downloading an application, and it didn’t come pre-installed, there’s a good chance that it is deploying malware to your smartphone. If you find one, make sure you remove it and then scan your device with an antivirus program.

If none of this works, you still have one option left: a factory reset. This will restore your smartphone back to its initial state, when you first powered it up. Keep in mind, this will remove all data from your device, so unless it is backed up somewhere, you will not be able to retrieve it. That really is a last resort.

Fix Your Smartphone’s Keyboard and Protect Yourself

Once you remove the malware from your smartphone and the keyboard starts working properly, you need to make sure you never find yourself in a similar situation again. This involves installing reliable anti-malware software, staying away from fishy websites, using secure app stores, and keeping an eye on the latest cyber threats. But in order to stay safe at all times, you need to understand how smartphone security really works, so familiarize yourself with common myths and misconceptions for a start.

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