Most of us carry sensitive data on our smartphones — that’s normal, right? We do so many things on our phones, from shopping and playing games to taking important calls and messages and more. We’re often quick to take extra precautions when we use our personal home computers because we know they’re susceptible to malware, spyware and other icky viruses from the internet.
But can iPhones get viruses? Can Android phones get viruses? You might be wondering now if these devices are just as susceptible to dangerous websites and programs as your laptop or desktop. Here’s everything you need to know.
How Common Are Smartphone Viruses?
Believe it or not, your smartphone is less likely to get a virus than you might think. In both iPhones and Android devices, virus cases are rare and happen only occasionally. However, it is possible, and it’s still important to take as many steps to keep your phone as secure as you can.
So how does a smartphone get a virus? The biggest smartphone virus risk comes from downloading content or apps. There’s little reason to worry when you download apps from sources such as Google Play and the iOS app store, as these online shops take their own security measures to avoid cyber threats. However, third-party applications can contain unknown viruses, so download at your own risk!
Another potential cause for concern is owners who jailbreak their phones. Jailbreaking your phone can open up a greater possibility for viruses, especially if you have an iPhone. iOS devices, which are usually safe from viruses, may become vulnerable to ones that have been created to target jailbroken phones.
Lastly, it’s important to make sure you keep your phone up to date with any new security features that appear in new software patches. Having an outdated device could expose you to viruses and other security threats that might otherwise be avoidable.
Viruses on iPhones
Unless you have a jailbroken device, you’re unlikely to end up with a virus on your iPhone. The reason is that Apple limits the ability of its apps to connect or communicate with one another on your device. Viruses operate by spreading through programs and infecting them — because each iOS app is a separate entity, there’s little chance of a virus having the ability to spread through your device.
You might be able to tell with a simple search through the iOS app store that Apple and most antivirus companies are confident in the iPhone’s existing protection. It’s rare that you would see antivirus programs or software on the app store, which might be surprising given the way companies push such software for regular computers. The truth: Apple knows it’s unnecessary.
Any security tools that do appear on the app store are more geared toward privacy protection and information backup. Several security risks come with owning an iOS device, but viruses are generally checked off that list.
Viruses on Android Phones
Android devices come with their own set of security features that keeps them safer from viruses than most desktops and laptops are. The advantage of having an Android is that it comes with a locked bootloader that keeps out any potential threats to the system. As long as your device’s bootloader stays locked, the phone should be protected from web attacks.
That said, Android devices are slightly more vulnerable than your average iOS phone. While it’s unlikely that you would end up with a virus on your Android due to system security features and the rarity of smartphone-specific malicious programs, certain risks still require you to take a few reasonable precautions.
A general rule of thumb to follow when it comes to browsing the web or shopping for apps is to stay away from downloading content that comes from unknown sources or websites. If you have any doubts about the legitimacy or safety of a download, it may be best to take your browsing elsewhere. Android devices have been known on occasion to get forms of malware, which may steal sensitive data or the user’s money. As downloading third-party content is the main risk for malware, however, your device should be safe as long as you remain selective about your downloads.
Learn More From The Whiz Cells
Because your mobile device is such a significant part of your daily life, it’s crucial for you to make sure it stays secure and under your control. As long as you’re aware of the risk level that comes with certain browsing and downloading behaviors, you can take necessary precautions that will help you keep your device safe — along with all the valuable information stored on it.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to prevent smartphone viruses and malware, check out additional information about phone viruses on our website.