Most people have installed home and Business Antivirus programs for their desktop computers. However, the majority of people who own smartphones and tablets have not installed a mobile security package. This leaves millions of mobile devices vulnerable to hackers and malware. As the world turns from PCs to mobile devices, more hackers will design malware specific to our handheld companions.
Mobile viruses have a wide range of capabilities. They can delete your information, drain your battery, render phone features non-functional and send mass messages to your contacts. Would you like your private life broadcast online? If you leave your smartphone or tablet vulnerable to a virus, it could hijack your camera. Consider this: One current malware scheme involves infecting an Android phone with a virus that sends SMS messages to premium numbers, resulting in high billing charges for the unsuspecting phone owner.
If you are asking security questions related to your mobile device, such as “What is antivirus?” and “How do I know which solution is best?”, then educate yourself so you can learn the criteria for a good mobile antivirus solution. You should also learn common sense techniques to protect your mobile device from other threats.
Why People Sometimes Avoid Mobile Security Solutions
According to Digital Trends, people cite three main reasons they have not yet purchased mobile security software:
- Cost. Some users claim the products are too expensive, although many free solutions are available on the market. Also, the cost of mobile security seems negligible compared to the costs you’ll encounter if a hacker steals your financial information.
- Power demands. When we’re using mobile devices, we’re usually on the go. Therefore, we want information fast. Antivirus will require some processing power, but it’s a small sacrifice to protect sensitive information.
- False positives. On occasion, a mobile security app will identify clean applications as malware. Again, it’s a small risk compared to the reward of knowing your information is safe.
Qualities to Consider When Purchasing Mobile Security Software
Consider these three things when you’re deciding which mobile security software to purchase:
- Protection. A high level of protection that deters viruses, spam, malware and phishing is a must, but you should also consider protective features like remote wipe or remote lock. Some security software enables you to set off a remote “scream” on your phone, deterring thieves from picking it up if you’ve misplaced it.
- Ease of use. Make sure the solution is easy to tap through and navigate. Also, make sure downloading the software is a simple and straightforward process. Updates should be automatic and hassle-free, and 24/7 technical support should be available for questions.
- Features. Look for software that automates scanning as much as possible. Scheduled and on-demand scanning, remote backup, activity logs, parental monitoring controls and lists of accepted and blocked numbers are useful security features some applications offer in addition to antivirus. Also, consider online management options so you can remotely access a lost or stolen phone.
- Detection methods. Signature-based virus tracking looks for specific lines of code, but these methods catch only about one out of every five viruses. Look for heuristic or behavior-tracking technology that monitors applications for unusual behavior. Programs that combine both solutions provide the best defense against malware. Even better, choose a solution that analyzes the reputation of app sources to ensure apps you download don’t contain malicious code.
- Reputation. Purchase your mobile antivirus software from a reputable source to ensure effectiveness.
Our smartphones and tablets are more than devices we use for calling. We use them as mobile wallets, store communications on them and keep contact lists full of private numbers. With so much information to steal, it’s no wonder one major security company reported a 42-percent increase in exploited mobile OS vulnerabilities last year. Before you become the next victim, install a high-quality mobile security solution for your smartphone or tablet.
About the Author: Joe Patrick Simmons is a freelance writer who holds master’s degree in cyber security. He Recommends Business Antivirus for businesses who need better security. After working at a major software company in San Francisco, Joe decided to combine his passion for technology with his talent for writing.