Does your mobile require anti-virus software?

Many Android users might be worried with the plethora of anti-virus softwares flooding the market. This, despite the fact that most of them haven’t really faced a security threat. Big names in the security market like Norton and Kaspersky have been heavily advertising their mobile anti-virus apps. The question is, do you really need that level of protection?

Last year, a statistic showed that Android malware has reportedly increased by 472 per cent. The figure is a bit frightening to say the least, but don’t be too intimidated. The biggest security threats for Android devices come from two main sources: Trojans and Malware. Trojans for phones target SMSes, and usually send out texts to international numbers or those which require you to pay an extra fee. Trojans aren’t normally detectable until you get your monthly bill. The other threat, Malware, comes from apps that you download, which sometimes dig deep into your operating system and access your personal information.

While both these threats are real, the fact is they aren’t widespread, as is the case with Windows viruses. So while an anti-virus software would help you to safeguard against these, you could take simple precautions instead. For example, don’t download apps from an unknown source. And when you do download an app, check what permissions the app has to access your personal data. And if you see unusual rates for SMSes in your bill, call your network provider to verify it.

That said, mobile anti-viruses do offer some useful features like scanning your device for malware, monitoring usage, backing up information and even locking or tracking a lost/stolen device. So if you do download an antivirus, don’t do it out of paranoia, do it because you want an extra level of security.

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