Telegram continues to grow and has recently emerged as one of the top messaging apps. Last year, it topped 700 million users.
The app is known for offering end-to-end encryption and prioritizing your privacy. While your messages may be safe on Telegram, this doesn’t necessarily mean your device is. After all, hackers keep coming up with new, nefarious ways to infect users.
So, what you’re probably wondering is — can I get a virus from Telegram? Let’s find out!
Can you get a virus from Telegram?
Yes, you can get a virus from Telegram. However, it’s not enough just to have the app installed or run it for this to happen. You’ll have to click on a harmful link or download a contaminated file to infect your phone.
Telegram links can be malicious. Whether they are or not, often depends on who has sent you the message. Strangers and numbers you don’t recognize may try to share clickable links that lead to phony websites with malware.
It’s also a good idea to be careful when someone trustworthy sends you a strange link without any explanation. You can never know when someone’s account has been hacked.
Is it safe to download videos from Telegram?
Although it’s less likely you’ll infect your device this way, it’s not entirely safe to download videos from Telegram. Luckily, you can prevent the app from doing so by deactivating the Save to Gallery feature.
What are the potential threats?
Here are the most common threats to look out for when using Telegram:
Links you receive from strangers should always be seen as a threat. This doesn’t only stand for Telegram, but all messaging apps and social media platforms as well.
A single click is sometimes enough to open a harmful page and infect your device with a virus.
Files from other users are perhaps an even bigger problem. If someone sends you something, there’s always a chance it’s a virus. Clicking on the file will initiate the download and just like that, your device could be infected.
In the last few years, Telegram has been battling with a Random Access Trojan (RAT) called ToxicEye.
What can this malware do?
The answer is — a lot.
ToxicEye can steal information, delete or send files, stop processes, and even use your camera and microphone to record.
If you suspect you have downloaded this malware, check if the following file exists on your PC: C: /Users/ToxicEye/rat.exe.
In case you find it, you should run an antivirus scan as soon as possible.
Another way to infect your device is by downloading the wrong version of Telegram. The app is available on the Google Play Store and App Store, as well as on its official website.
You’ll endanger your device if you get Telegram from any other source.
How to stay safe?
The good news is that staying safe on Telegram isn’t that difficult. As long as you follow basic security measures, you can chat with your friends without worrying about downloading a virus.
Here are some easy-to-follow recommendations:
- Make sure you download Telegram from official sources.
- Never click on links from strangers.
- Never download files from unknown users.
- Disable the Save to Gallery feature.
This should be enough to keep malicious files at bay. However, there are other things you can do to protect your profile more thoroughly. For example, there are two-step verification and local password options.
If you believe your Telegram account got hacked, you can simply remove unauthorized sessions.
So, can you get a virus from Telegram?
It’s entirely possible, but you’ll have to make some wrong moves to get there! As long as you don’t click on suspicious links and files, you’ll be safe. And if you’re just installing the app, make sure to download the correct version.
Good luck and stay safe out there!