Last updated on July 7th, 2020 at 12:32 pm
Viruses are one hell of a nuisance and can even cause your laptop to be destroyed from the inside out.
Viruses mostly plague laptop but with smartphones in the system, you start to wonder if it is necessary to install an antivirus on your smartphone.
Android is the largest operating software that is found on smartphones followed by iOS. And something that is popular is bound to be targeted by the bad guys. Just like Windows operating system also has its major share in viruses.
This makes regularly scanning your smartphone for viruses or getting an antivirus very important especially on Android. This is not to say that iOS doesn’t get viruses but the chances are very low.
Yeah people say you can’t get a virus on iOS because of its tight security. The word is tight, not perfect security. There is always a very small chance that you will get a virus. Here’s what you need to know if smartphones need antivirus.
Is Antivirus Necessary For Android?
Going through Google Play Store not only do you begin to notice the sheer number of apps that can be found there but you start thinking if they are safe to download.
And there are also the APKs which you can get from other sources apart from Google Play Store.
Android is an open-source operating system. With enough knowledge, you can basically modify it to the way you like. This is because it is a modified Linux kernel. And Linux is open-source.
That is why Android is the most popular smartphone operating system on the planet.
The openness of Android is also the reason why antivirus is necessary. If you are a curious person like the people over at the xda-developers you will definitely install apps (APKs) that can’t be found on the Play Store in order to root your device and install apps that only work on rooted devices.
You might also download apps that can’t be found on the Play Store for some other reason. It all boils down to what you need the app for.
Honestly, it is hard to get a virus on Android unless you decide to install apps (APKs) from disreputable sources. Such sources tend to hide malicious software in their apps to get hold of your data or just destroy your android phone causing it to brick.
And there is the Google Play Store. It is quite known that apps go through a vetting process or to better put automated scans to check if apps are malicious. Still, malicious are able to pass these automated scans fooling Google into thinking that they are harmless.
Check out this article on Forbes. Half a million people who thought downloaded a driving game was actually an Android malware. This goes to show that even Google Play Store is not safe from malicious apps.
Also with cryptocurrency now becoming an accepted form of payment, apps can sometimes mine cryptocurrencies without your knowledge slowing your phone down drastically and consuming a lot of battery power.
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So to say, you can’t get a virus or malware from Google Play Store is entirely false. As a rule of thumb always check the reviews before downloading an app.
Finally, there is internet browsing and downloading of files. Quite a number of people say it is not possible to get a virus or malware from internet browsing on android it might be true or not.
It is very common to get a virus or malware through this method on a PC but who is to say you can’t get it on android.
Anything is possible and looking at the fact that advances in technology are rapidly advancing it might be possible to get a virus from browsing the internet or downloading files.
You are definitely familiar with ad pop-ups which might house a virus or malware.
Should You Download Antivirus On Your Android Phone?
By now you should realise how important having an antivirus is for your android smartphone. So to better protect your privacy or personal details you should consider getting an antivirus.
If you suspect your phone is doing something it shouldn’t do or you notice unusual high power consumption of battery power then you might have a virus.
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There are three ways you can deal with virus or malware on your phone.
The first is to factory reset your phone. This restores your phone to how it was when you first took it out of the box.
The downside of this is that it will wipe all your data – contacts, photos, music, etc. So always backup your files before using this method.
The next method is to manually search for the app yourself and uninstall it. Safe mode can help you do that. You won’t have to factory reset your phone.
The third and final way is to install an antivirus. There are so many antiviruses on Google Play Store that most are useless.
Avast Mobile Security, Bitdefender, Kaspersky Mobile Antivirus and Norton Security and Antivirus are definitely recommended. These four are the best you can get on Google Play Store.
Can iPhones Get Viruses?
Macintosh operating system has really tight security when it comes to viruses. iPhones run on this operating system so they also get the same level of security you get on a Mac.
Compared to an Android phone the chances of you getting a virus is very low.
But even so, Macs have antivirus installed on them and that should tell you that not even Macintosh is safe from all viruses.
Apps in the Apple Store go through a much more rigorous screening than apps found on Google. This alone drastically reduces the number of malicious apps that can be found on the Apple Play Store.
The biggest reason you hear people saying you won’t get a virus on your iPhone due to Apple’s approach to making sure their Play Store is safe protecting you from malicious software or viruses.
Apple also limits what apps can access the system. They have limited access to your personal data.
The rigorous scanning of apps before entering the Apple Store and the limited access apps have to your personal data reduces the chances of getting a virus or malware.
The only time you might run the risk of getting a virus is jailbreaking your iPhone which allows you to download apps that haven’t been approved by Apple. Similar to rooting the android phone you might download apps from disreputable sources.
What To Do If Your iPhone Has a Virus?
If your phone starts to show signs that are not normal then it is likely that your iPhone has a virus or the app you are running is buggy. If so you could:
- Manually find the app causing the problem and delete.
- Or you can factory reset your iPhone after you have done a backup of your files.
- There is also installing an antivirus from the app store.
As you can see not every operating system is perfect and there will always be a loophole in the system that can be exploited by the people.
Viruses and malware are one of the several ways that the bad guys can use to take advantage of the loophole in the system.
You don’t want to wait for it to happen before you decide how necessary an antivirus is.
Because as they say, “Better safe than sorry”.