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  • Home >> Android >> Is It Time To Use Antivirus For Our Smartphones?

    Is It Time To Use Antivirus For Our Smartphones?

    This is a guest post by steven papas who blogs at steven. If you would like to write for NiharsWorld, check our guest posting guidelines.

    Cellphone viruses are little more than a nuisance today, but given our exploding unprecedented reliance on wireless communication, in the years to come,they could pose bigger threat than their PC based counterparts. Since 2005, creators of phone viruses have devised hybrids which spread through both Bluetooth and MMS connections. Are smartphones immune to the same virus risk seen with desktop and laptop computers? Do you need antivirus software for your phone in order to be completely protected? These are the questions we will explore below as we take a look at both the virus risk and potential software solutions for a number of different smartphones.

    What we didn’t know

    The majority of computer users understand how potentially harmful a computer virus can be. In fact, most of us try to protect our laptops and desktop computers with antivirus and Internet security software of some kind. But what about smartphones which access the web—are they just as vulnerable as computers? The answer to that question is rather complicated, but the shortened version is a resounding “yes.” Any device possessing the capability of accessing the internet, including smartphones, runs the risk of virus infection.

    In earlier models of mobile phones—those unable to download apps—the threat of a smartphone virus was very negligible because it would be difficult for that virus to spread. Since 2004, however, when users of Symbian were attacked with the Cabir worm, there has been a rise in the number of viruses reported and the trend seems only to be growing.

    Smartphones are equipped much like a computer, only smaller, and can do roughly all the same tasks you perform with your laptop or desktop, such as surfing the web, checking email, shopping and even banking. This increase in activity, however, has made smartphones a target for those who create viruses and malware.

    Do I Need Antivirus Software for My Blackberry?

    Depending on whom you speak with or what you read, the answer to the question “do I need antivirus software for my BlackBerry Smartphone” usually receives a variety of answers. Some claim that an antivirus program on the Blackberry can help contain malware, but according to the Blackberry website, this type of protection is unnecessary. Security experts at Blackberry write:

    “The BlackBerry solution focuses on containing malicious programs. The BlackBerry software and core applications are digitally signed to ensure integrity and control access to the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Thus, the core BlackBerry smartphone functionality can’t be directly accessed by other applications.”

    Do I Need Antivirus for My iPhone?

    The operating system running iPhones, OS X, is thought to be very safe, and currently there are no antivirus software programs for the iPhone, largely because Apple doesn’t allow for anything to be running in the background of their phones. However, even though these phones tend to run in a “sandbox environment”—where apps never interact with each other—there have been isolated reports of virus attacks on certain iPhones—iPhones which were user-modified to allow unauthorized software to run. Once inside these viruses can steal passwords, read your email and even send unauthorized text messages.

    Do I Need Antivirus for My Android?

    Many people think that because Android runs a version of Linux it is immune to virus attacks. This is simply not true. Even though, to date, the Android has yet to be attacked by a virus, certain Android phones have become infiltrated with phishing apps that can potentially be very damaging. Most experts seem to agree that this phone will someday be targeted widely due to its popularity—and eventually targeted successfully.

    Recently there were some reports of Android Phones being shipped with a virus in the SD card, and when plugged into the computer would deliver a virus. This is not, however, a smartphone virus, but a computer virus due to the way it was delivered.

    If you want to play it on the safe side—and experts agree that’s a good idea—there is a form of virus protection called Phone Guard that promises to keep your Android phone free of viruses, spyware and malware.

    A Look at Some of the Smartphone Security Solutions

    Smartphone users running Symbian and Windows Mobile seem to be the most vulnerable to smartphone viruses and malware, and the industry has responded with several antivirus solutions to choose from if you are running these systems. These include:

    Bull Guard Mobile Antivirus

    The vendor for BullGuard Mobile Antivirus says, “BullGuard Mobile Antivirus is an easy-to-use and reliable solution that protects Pocket PCs and smartphones from malicious programs that target mobile platforms.” BullGuard runs on both Symbian and Windows Mobile operating systems.

    • ESET Mobile Antivirus

    An antivirus solution for viruses, spyware, adware and Trojan horses. Operates on the Windows Mobile Platform.

    • F-Secure Mobile Security for Business

    Operates on the Symbian and Windows Mobile platforms and safeguards the most advanced business smartphones.

    • Kapersky Mobile Security

    Kapersky is one of the leaders in computer virus protection and their new mobile security program claims to be just as effective with smartphones. Kapersky operates on the Windows Mobile and Symbian platforms.

    • McAfee Mobile Security for Enterprise

    The vendor describes McAfee Mobile Security for Enterprise as complete protection for all your mobile devices. McAfee Mobile Security for Enterprise operates solely on the Windows Mobile platform.

    • Norton Smartphone Security

    Norton is the most well-known and well-respected makers of Internet security and antivirus programs and with Norton Smartphone Security you’ll get both antivirus and anti-spam to completely safeguard your mobile privacy.

    • Trend Micro Mobile Security

    Also made for the Symbian and Windows Mobile platforms, Trend Micro Mobile Security offers complete protection against data loss, infections and mobile attacks.

    Conclusions

    Users of Blackberry, iPhone and Android are not near as susceptible to virus attacks as those Smartphone users running Symbian or Windows Mobile, nor are they completely immune. Most experts agree that as smartphones continue to grow in popularity, the need for extra security will correspondingly increase.

    Steven’s online business is the VeryBestSoftware.Net Reviews & Coupons, where he posts blogging tips, software reviews and discount codes. He shares tech tips, internet security product reviews for small businesses and home.

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    9 Comments

    1. John Mak says:

      Hi Steven,

      I own an android phone and I didn’t know that I have to install an antivirus! Thank you for the advice.

    2. steven papas says:

      Hey john thanks for stopping by. Did you know that in Japan alone 1 out of 3 viruses are especially designe to strike on smartphones? Dude, with the exploding use of smartphones and wifi and bluetooth communication, they are the new target.

    3. great stuff steven, thanks for the heads up. I think our cellphones need to be protected as much as our computers.

    4. I dont think we require an antivirus for smartphones / mobile phones
      If bychance virus comes, just reset/reboot your phoen and tahts it.

      Antivirus will make ur phone slower and will consume space

      ATUL

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