Can Your Phone Get a Virus?
People often ask us if their phone can get a virus. The short answer is probably not, but the long answer is more complicated.
Technically, phones can’t get viruses, which are a specific type of software that spreads through a computer. Phones can get other types malicious software, known as malware, that can interfere with the way your device functions and sometimes steal private information.
Where Does Malware Come From?
The most common way malware gets on your phone is through an infected app—an app that seems normal but is hiding malware in its code. Most apps available in Apple’s App Store or the Google Play store are completely safe, but occasionally a bad one can sneak in.
To avoid malware, do your homework before you download any new app. Read the reviews and only install if it’s from a reputable source.
Three More Ways to Keep Malware off Your Phone
1. Don’t open suspicious email attachments.
If you’re not sure who the email is from or what the attachment is, don’t open it. Malware emails often appear to be from a friend or family member or come disguised as communication from a company you do business with. If anything seems suspicious, trust your instincts.
2. Only connect to secure Wi-Fi networks.
Who doesn’t love free Wi-Fi? But remember while you’re sitting in an airport or cafe checking your email, a hacker could be nearby, transferring malware to your device.
3. Update your software often.
Phone manufacturers and app developers work hard to provide the best possible security. Keep your operating system and apps updated, so your phone is less vulnerable to bugs and hacks.
Malware may sound scary, but you can use these tips to stay safe and worry-free. Check back for more ways to get the most out of your device.