In today’s mobile environment you rarely come across someone when you are out in public that does not carry some type of mobile device. Everywhere you go you see people attached to their mobile phones in which they practically carry their entire life. Although picking up a virus on your cell phone is less likely than it is on your PC, it is important to remember that mobile devices are connected to the Internet and the online environment is full of hidden malware and viruses. If you have not yet picked up a virus on your mobile phone don’t wait until it’s too late.
The very first virus for cell phones became apparent as far back as 2004 which affected mobile phones with Bluetooth capability. With more and more people carrying around their life on their mobile device it is more important than ever to consider using antivirus software which is designed to protect cell phones. Here are a few reasons why:
Mobile Phone Functionality
When your cell phone does not have antivirus software installed it is left open to viruses and malware that can accompany anything you download when you are connected to the Internet. Just like your PC, hackers are well on their way to programming viruses and malware designed to compromise mobile phone functionality.
In addition to protecting your cell phone, malicious programs antivirus software for mobile devices help to protect you from inadvertently downloading software that is not designed to work with your device. Installing the incorrect software can compromise the performance of your mobile phone and slow things down considerably.
Bluetooth is a prime target for hackers to easily transmit viruses and malware to your mobile device. Although Bluetooth provides a great convenience, if your cell phone is not protected with antivirus software you can transmit malicious programs when you sync or transfer files from one device to the other. Additionally, if you forget your Bluetooth is activated while your mobile phone is tucked away in your purse or pocket, it is easy for hackers to exploit Bluetooth which is unprotected to perform malicious downloads.
Similar to the viruses which infect your PC, mobile phone viruses also contain executable files which are files that once inside your device either replicate or attach themselves to some of the applications on your mobile device. SMS (Short Messaging Service) is one of the primary ways hackers can attack your mobile phone not to mention eavesdropping on your conversations with others.
Many mobile device users are opting to leave their conventional wallet home and instead carry their wallet in their mobile phone. Mobile wallets such as Google Wallet are increasing in popularity because they offer convenience and speed at the checkout. Hackers know this and they also know that a high percentage of mobile phones are still not protected with antivirus software.
These are just a few reasons why you should install mobile phone antivirus software to protect your device and your privacy.
Other Ways to Protect Your Mobile Phone
In addition to installing antivirus software, there are other steps you can take to protect your mobile phone from unscrupulous attacks:
- Install Reliable Software: If you are installing software or apps from the Internet make sure the source where you are obtaining the software is trustworthy and the software is specifically designed for your device.
- Disable or Hide Bluetooth: As we mentioned earlier Bluetooth is a primary way that hackers can exploit your mobile device. When not in use make sure you disable your Bluetooth service and keep the discover mode hidden if possible. Additionally, avoid accepting messages via your Bluetooth connection from senders you do not know.
- Practice Safe Data Transfer: Whenever you transfer data to your mobile device always double check the device where the data originated to ensure it is virus-free. This includes opening attachments in SMS messages.
- Keep Your Antivirus Software Updated: Hundreds of new viruses are released on the Internet every day. Make sure you keep your antivirus software updated with the latest virus definitions. Additionally, install any updated security patches which are available for software applications you are using on your mobile device.
A Word about Antivirus Software for your Mobile Phone
When you choose antivirus software for your mobile phone make sure it provides scanning which you can configure to run automatically and at scheduled times. The antivirus software you choose should also provide a total security solution which offers encryption services for protecting your data, protection against unwanted SMS text messages and email spam, firewall protection, and number blocking for unwanted phone calls or text messages.
Some of the antivirus software which is available for mobile phones also offers protection against theft. This type of protection blocks thieves from accessing your phone if it is stolen and any unauthorized access to your device in the event it is lost.
Also, use caution when considering free antivirus software for your mobile phone. Like anything else there are quality programs out there as well as software that will do more harm than good to your cell phone.
Antivirus software programs are always connected to an internal database which provides the latest definition updates. Free antivirus software is only as good as the definition database it is connected to and some of the databases are not comprehensive. This means that if a virus happens to enter your mobile device the antivirus software will not detect it since the definition is not included in the updates from the database.
With a paid antivirus program your chances are greater of receiving the comprehensive protection you need. Plus the majority of these programs are connected to an internal database which is continually updated and covers a broader range of the latest virus definitions.
Mobile phones are increasingly being used as the device of choice due their extreme portability which also increases their risk of being infected with viruses and malware. Simply taking some of the precautions we described in this article can help you combat the increased number of viruses and malware that is being created by hackers to take advantage of the mobile community.