Does your smartphone need antivirus and anti-malware? Yes, it absolutely does. These days, your smartphone can catch malware just by going to an infected website. But it’s not just a passive thing – hackers are looking to steal whatever they can from you.
In just the first part of 2022, researchers detected a 500 percent spike in malware mobile attacks. You need antivirus protection for your smartphone, and you need to be extra careful when responding to any weird texts or downloading any apps or files. Here’s how to protect your phone from malware.
Get Antivirus Protection for Your Phone
You wouldn’t dream of getting on your laptop and going online without antivirus protection, and you shouldn’t be willing to do it on your smartphone, either. Android phones are more vulnerable to cyber attacks than iPhones, if only because Androids are by far the more popular choice, so hackers have access to a wider pool of potential victims if they write malicious code for Androids. But well iPhones may be more inherently secure due to their architecture, no operating system is completely immune to infection.
And infections are on the rise. Recent malware like FluBot uses your contact list to propagate itself, spreading like a real contagion. Tanglebot, which is usually delivered via fake text, can take control of your device, intercept your audio and video recordings, and even take over your entire device. You should buy a comprehensive antivirus for your phone and run a scan immediately to make sure you’re clean. If you do have malware or a virus, your antivirus can help disinfect your system.
Evaluate Apps Carefully
It’s been revealed in recent years that even the apps you find in the App Store or the Play Store may not be safe. As much as Google and Apple are working behind the scenes to keep malicious apps out of these channels, hackers are working just as hard to get their malicious apps into the very same. Sometimes they succeed.
Take a look at the reviews for an app before you download it and start using it. Google it if you’re still not sure. Pay close attention to the permissions apps ask for – do they really need access to your contacts list? To your camera? Apps that want excessive permissions usually want them for nefarious reasons.
However, just because the apps in the Play Store or App Store may not all be safe, doesn’t mean that you should start getting your apps from other sources. Apps that are sideloaded from third-party sources aren’t vetted at all as to whether they’re malware. Avoid sideloading apps unless you’re sure you trust the
Avoid Smishing Attacks
A phishing attack is when a scammer sends a fraudulent email in order to trick you into handing over information or straight up sending cash. A smishing attack is the same thing but done over text. A phishing scammer might send you an email purporting to be from your bank or some other organization you do business with, hoping you’ll click on the link and surrender your login info to what will turn out to be a mirror site. A smishing scammer does the same thing over text, sending you a fake text with a link they’ll use to try and steal your info. Or, they might be more subtle – they might text pretending to be a wrong number, and start a conversation, in order to draw information out of you (that they can then use to guess your security questions, for example).
Avoid smishing attacks – don’t interact with any weird texts you get that you think might be a wrong number, or that invite you to share sensitive information, including login information for any of your online accounts. If you think you’ve been targeted by a smishing scam, Google the phone number, and even the content of the message. Don’t click on any links or respond to the text – any response at all lets scammers know that yours is a valid number and could lead to a ramp-up in attempts. If you need confirmation that a message is not from the purported sender, call them up directly and ask them.
Don’t Jailbreak Your Phone
iPhones are pretty resistant to malware and viruses on their own – perhaps in large part because less malware is written for them. But jailbreaking your iPhone makes it massively more vulnerable to attack. Hackers have caught on that jailbroken iPhones are easy to hack, and they’re specifically targeting them.
Is your phone safe from malware? Not if you’re not running an antivirus for phones. Whether you have an Android or an iPhone, protect it, and your data, from scammers and hackers with the right antivirus solution.