Though more and more people are jumping on the smart phone bullet train, it seems that virus and malware protection isn’t something that’s on their minds. Instead, too many people are fixated on the “sexiness” of these tiny machines, their metallic and glassy sleekness, their processing power, their thin, long-lasting lithium-ion batteries, and so on.
They’re overlooking the fact that mobile platforms are becoming a huge target for scammers, hackers, and virus makers who want I non the action. Virus and malware are too often associated with the PC, but that focus is shifting rapidly.
Too many smart phones users assume that because the mobile platform is a different beast than the PC space, they are somehow protected. How they consume content on a phone is different than on a PC, so it is understandable. Users access content through apps, many of which require a data connection to the internet in order to function. It’s this connection that possesses a risk, among a great many other things.
Compared to PCs, smartphones are the safer alternative when it comes to viruses and malware, but at smart phones begin to overtake computers are a primary means of accessing the internet, that “safety” becomes less and less. For the past several years, hackers have had a difficult time breaking into the mobile space, primarily due to is much more closed and restrictiveness—compared to PCs.
One major way hackers and scammers are moving into mobile is through phishing and phishing-type scams. Sometimes it’s a text with link to an illegitimate webpage and sometimes it’s a fake app. Both methods are designed to extract personal information from you, whether it’s banking info or a social security number. Always be sure of exactly what you are downloading and only follow links from trusted sources and only when you can verify where that link goes before you access it.
Of course, there’s still the threat of viruses, which are usually downloaded by clicking fraudulent links. Some viruses merely attempt to render you phone useless, causing a surge in processes and others try to access personal information to a remote destination. The question is: are you prepared.
Every device you own should have some form of antivirus protection on it, from your home computer, to your tablet, to your smart phone, regardless of who manufactured it. With plenty of choices out there, both free and paid, it’s too easy not to do.
If you don’t have an app already installed on your device (or you have one you’re not too keen on using), fire up your devices app store and see what’s available. Common and widely used free antivirus apps include avast! Free Mobile, AVG Free for Android, and Lookout Mobile Security Free.
If you’re skeptical about using a free antivirus, you can purchase Kaspersky Mobile Security, McAfee Mobile Security, and Trend Micro Mobile Security, among many others. With this protection, as well as common sense browsing and downloading, you, your personal information, and your phone should be relatively safe.