Should You Be Worried About Your Cell Phone Catching a Virus? (Spoiler Alert: Yes!)

You might want to think twice about before storing your credit card numbers in your phone.

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You probably take many steps to protect your computer from getting a virus, but what about your cell phone? Cell phones are basically mini-computers, so, believe it or not, they too can get viruses. While cell phone viruses are not nearly as common, you should still be protecting your phone the same way you do your computer. (Make sure you always avoid these online scams.)

Viruses and malware should not be a major concern to the average consumer who uses their device to make phones calls, take pictures, and download a few well known apps from the major app marketplaces,” Tim Katsch Vice President of iDropped said. “If a user is downloading a lot of apps, changing and exploring settings within the device, and visiting a large number of websites from unknown sources, virus and malware protection should be kept on their mind and something to consider obtaining protection or implementing preventative measure for.”

Android phones are more susceptible to getting a virus, but iPhones can get them too if you “jailbreak” them (which is not recommended). If your phone gets a virus it can mess up your data, put random charges on your bill, and get private information such as your bank account number, credit card information, passwords, and your location.

The most common way that you could get a virus on your phone would be through downloading an infected app. Malicious software is many times disguised as an innocent-looking app or a free version of an app that typically costs money. Always download your apps through the service your phone provides; for iPhones it’s the Apple App Store and for Androids it’s the Google Play Store. Never download apps from third party websites and always read the reviews of the app to make sure it is legitimate. Also try these other tips to keep your cell phone secure.

Viruses can also get on your phone when you click on strange links or open up an email that contains a virus. Avoid clicking on links in texts or emails you get, even if they seem like they’re from a legitimate business. And don’t open emails that come from a weird looking address or name. Connecting to an unsecured wireless network in a public place is also a way for hackers to get private information from your device.

If you’re still paranoid that your phone might get a virus, there are anti-virus apps that you can download that will constantly scan your phone to make sure it hasn’t developed a virus. Katsch recommends Norton Security and Antivirus, McAfee Mobile Security, and Kaspersky Antivirus and Security. Apps like these will also check things before you download them to ensure that they are safe. Another tip is to always look over your cell phone bill every month to make sure there aren’t charges from apps that you never downloaded. These are ways you can use less data and lower your cell phone bill.

Technology is getting smarter, but so are hackers, and it’s important to always be cautious with anything you do on your phone. So many people store a lot of personal information on their phones, and while that might make life a little more convenient, it can also do a lot of damage if hacked.

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