Virus infections are not limited to desktop and laptop computers alone, they attack smartphones too. People sometimes wonder where these viruses come from. It has been found that unscrupulous virus writers create self-replicating programs, designed to gain unrestricted access to private information, steal hard disk space, corrupt sensitive data, spam personal contacts and perform many other harmful activities.
Initially, the introduction of smartphones in recent times brought some respite to business travelers, looking for smart, portable devices that could be used for official purposes. Smartphones do possess of some basic functionality of PCs and some Smartphone owners began to rely less on their personal computers to perform important activities such as emailing. However, these Smartphones became targets for virus writers who have developed programs to steal personal information from these smart, portable devices. These are 5 ways you can prevent damaging virus infections on your Smartphone.
1. Download files from reputable sources
One of the easiest ways a virus can gain unrestricted access to your Smartphone is through downloads. Most Nigerians love free things and are always scouring the internet for free downloads. This ugly trend hasn’t gone unnoticed by virus writers who are constantly searching for the most sought after apps and programs; they include their malicious programs and then offer it to the public as free downloads. Most gullible Smartphone owners are baited by these so-called free downloads and most times end up infecting their smartphones unknowingly.
Try to download files only from your Smartphone approved app store because most times the apps you’d find on these app stores are vetted and have gone through stringent procedures before making their way there in the first place.
2. Surf the internet with caution
The internet gives us limitless opportunities and freedom, but then this freedom comes with certain risks. You could visit a website infected with several harmful viruses that would secretly install themselves on your Smartphone as you browse it. Make sure the website you are trying to surf is popular one, e.g. visiting a website such as the bbc.co.uk shouldn’t pose any security risk because they are reputable and very popular. There are websites with extremely strange names; these are the kind of websites you should avoid. If the information you intend to get can only be gotten from these websites, try to search for their online reviews and also exercise caution when visiting these review sites.
3. Avoid unnecessary PC Hookups
Playing with people suffering from one contagious disease or the other will definitely get you infected, except you have a very strong immune system. The same concept applies to computers as well as smartphones. From time to time, we may need to connect our Smartphones to PCs so as to transfer and save important files we like, however, hackers and other malicious programmers have created malicious programs that are compatible with Smartphones. So when you connect your Smartphone with computers infected with these viruses, your Smartphone will become infected. To keep your Smartphone safe, avoid connecting them with computers you suspect to be infected with viruses or other malicious programs. Always ensure your computer is thoroughly scanned at regular intervals and that your PC’s anti-virus is up-to-date.
4. Get an Antivirus
This is perhaps one of the most important methods you can use to protect your Smartphones against harmful programs. Android Smartphones are prone to mobile virus infections due to their open source software that allows media files and apps to be shared freely between android powered devices on various platforms. The open source code adopted by android was meant to encourage easy sharing of files as well as application development; however, virus writers have taken advantage of this loophole to create self-duplicating malicious programs that can easily be shared between android devices.
IPhones, on the other hand, come with closed operating system or closed source program, which restricts file sharing with non Apple devicesas well as preventing public access to its code, thus, becoming less exposed to viruses. Some important mobile security apps that can be installed on Android devices include –Avast mobile security, Bitdefender Mobile Security, Kaspersky internet Security, McAfee Mobile Security and many more.
5. Message Attachments
This is perhaps one of the easiest ways to infect your Smartphone. It is not surprising to see messages in your Smartphone’s inbox, prompting you to open email attachments. You have to be very careful about opening email attachments from unknown mails. Check the email address to see if you are familiar with the sender, if you aren’t and you suspect it to be spam, delete or send the message to your spam folder.
Smartphones are increasingly playing important roles in our daily lives. They come packed with amazing apps and programs that help to organize our formal as well as informal activities. Unscrupulous programmers and virus writers want to gain unrestricted access to your personal data for their personal gain.It’s our duty to protect our important files as well as personal information, and it can only be protected by applying the best practices.