Is Your Smartphone Really in Danger!!!

There is a lot of talk about a lack of awareness for securing mobile devices.  On a PC we have known and have probably been affected by a virus or malware.  Most smartphone users also believe there device is susceptible to these same viruses.  This is where experts disagree.  Some have advised against using anti-virus software, as it can be bad for the operating system (OS). Anti-virus software makers would like us to be differently.   “You could say that the anti-virus software makers have a great interest in playing up the danger, sometimes bigger than it really is,” says Juergen Schmidt.

The threat of malware or a virus on mobile operating systems differs across platforms.  Android is deemed to be the least secure at this point, though it comes down to not paying attention to where and how you are getting the apps.  Once again Apple is the top dog for the most secure platform as Apps can only be installed through the Apples App Store unless you are jailbroken, but that is a whole seperate story.  Downloading from a trusted source is currently the best type of security.

One of the reasons anti-virus software is discouraged is because it slows down the phone and drains the battery.  All of the manufacturers are trying to get longer battery life and faster phones and an anti-virus app could slow it down and stall that movement foward.  Current anti-virus software is not to the ponit where it is beneficial on smartphones.  The security needs to start in the App Store or the Android Market.  A user must read reviews on apps and in most cases the larger the userbase of the app the more secure it is.  It is also a great idea to see what the app will be using, which is a warning before every download on android.  This does leave open the people that download third party apps but those are downloader beware!!

5 thoughts on “Is Your Smartphone Really in Danger!!!

  1. That’s a major reason why I suggest iPhones to average users rather than Android devices. There’s really no way for you to screw up your iPhone and all the apps work! People don’t get that convenience with Android, which has a much more relaxed acceptance process to get on the Android Market. The market isn’t even “open” like Android fanboys would have you believe, as Google has purged apps from the market as they see fit to protect the profits of their hardware and network partners. I think anti-virus on a phone is silly though. Just be careful!

  2. I use an Android device – battery life and slow performance are the two reasons I do not use antivirus software. I am very selective about the software that I install on it, which is another reason I am leery of installing virus protection – how can I be sure it is actually protecting the device and my privacy. Besides, I too think that virus protection on a smart phone is kind of silly, and a healthy dose of paranoia has worked very well for me so far.

  3. I feel as though Apple is eventually going to get so cocky about how they’re the least vulnerable to virus’s that they’re just going to push coder’s to find a way to make those virus’s that they will then be unprepared for….however I won’t digress too far into that.
    I too use an Android device, and I agree battery and slow performance are the two biggest problems Android has. Currently, anti-virus software doesn’t exist for android because of the reasons you mentioned, but Android has sort of found a middle ground with the Task Killer app. Task killer helps save battery by managing the apps running in the background on your phone in addition to what you’re actually running on the surface. This way, if an app is running too long in the background or if the task killer determines the app is more active than it is supposed to be (clues of a possible infected app); the killer stops the app from running.
    I foresee anti-virus software acclimating to the mobile market in the near future, given the rise in smartphones and other mobile devices such as tablets. Until then, I agree with this post the best anyone can do is watch where their apps come from and what they give the app permission to do.

  4. I can agree with a lot of the information that put into this blog, and as an Android user I see many third party applications when I use the application store on my phone. And Apple doesn’t have that problem because they keep their OS secure with proprietary laws that are crazy. However, just because Apple has little to no problems with viruses, and other malware doesn’t mean it is more secure than an Android phone. There are a lot of cases of the iPhone being hacked into using a number of ways. With that said I am hoping for a more secure way to keep my personnel information on my smart phone in the future.

  5. As an Android user myself, I agree that battery life (more specifically Android power management) and performance are the biggest issues that I’ve had with Android and I agree that antivirus software is unnecessary for smartphones.
    However, there is more about Apple being the “top dog” of security. When it comes down to the basic OS framework, both Android and Apple are based off of UNIX – at both OS’s core is UNIX. Therefore, all the security measures that were implemented within UNIX are also implemented in Android and Apple – the only real significant difference being the GUI, the coding language, and the file system (which differs even more in different Android implementations). While these differences (except the GUI) are enough to prevent SOME viruses (for example, a virus targeting iOS will not work on Android), those measures will not prevent a virus that exploits the CORE of these OSes. Point is – the only reason why people consider iOS to be more secure is the more tight monitoring of apps under Apple’s App store, as you mentioned, AND the fact that iOS manipulated UNIX to an extent that the root account was completely disabled so no application or user would have the rights to edit system files that viruses would normally edit.
    With Android being marketed as a more customizable OS, most people attribute that with security flaws and are unaware that Android is, again at its core, just as secure as iOS. Android also disables the root account completely. The only reasons as to why Android would be deemed less secure is the larger number of rogue apps floating around the Internet and the option to install unauthorized apps – a problem iOS would have too had the stock image allowed 3rd party apps.

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