Do Smartphones really need an Antivirus?

We live in a world of digital interconnectivity.  And, because of this, we enjoy the convenience of being able to access online accounts and share files across all of our devices.  But, this state of being totally connected does make it easier for hackers to penetrate our online lives in total, as opposed to just parts of it.

Because of the threat of cyber-attacks, we know that we have to keep our computers up to date with anti-virus software.  But, what about our phones?  With almost 60% of global search queries coming from mobile devices, are smartphones an obvious point of entry for hackers?  And, more importantly, are we leaving the door wide open?

To answer these questions, let’s look at each device individually.

Apple iOS

Apple is quite upfront about the fact that iOS doesn’t need additional security because security is one of its major concerns.  This means that, in addition to the company paying very close attention to the apps in its store, it protects its users from malicious apps on their devices as well.

Apple has adopted a ‘sandbox’ approach to the apps on iPhones.  This means that the apps its users download are partitioned off on their phones.  This way, any malicious apps that do make it through to the store are less likely to be able to affect iPhone users.  The company likes to directly handle any issues arising from apps, as it did with 2016’s targeted iOS threat.

Because of this, anti-virus apps aren’t a necessity for iOS smartphones.  In fact, you can’t even download apps that conduct thorough scans.  So, if you have an iPhone, you’re safe with practical usage.

Android

Unlike iOS, Android isn’t quite as concerned with which apps make it into its stores, which makes Android slightly less safe than iOS.  With Android users at higher risk of downloading malicious apps, mobile anti-virus apps are quite important on this operating system.

Fortunately, Android devices don’t have a compatibility problem with anti-virus apps, and there are plenty of solutions for Android device security.  The Google Play app store is full of quality anti-virus and anti-malware apps for Android.  These range in price, but there are some effective apps for free.

Windows

A few years ago, Windows phones were among the safest on the market, being targeted the least by hackers.  This was partly because these phones are less popular than Android and iOS smartphones, and partly because the operating system was different from that of Windows PCs.

Now, even though Windows 10 changed all that with a bold attempt at cross-device integration, Windows phones are still relatively secure.  According to white-hat hacker, Steve Lord, Windows phones are the safest on the market.

That being said, with the Windows OS supporting a variety of anti-virus and anti-malware apps, it doesn’t hurt to enlist some added protection.

Mobile Security: Better Safe than Sorry

With the amount of mobile use in today’s world, it is no surprise that hackers are beginning to focus on mobile operating systems.  So, despite the differing levels of security across these major operating systems, it is better to have professional security available.

Even if your OS isn’t necessarily supportive of anti-virus apps, such as in the case of iOS, it is advisable to have the support of online security services.   And, if you’re ever in doubt over a particular app or link, err on the side of caution.

 

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