Billions of people around the world own a smartphone. These are typically mini computers that easily fit in our pockets and we can do more with them while on the go. But are these gadgets really safe from a cyber-attack?
Can viruses pose a threat to your phone, and do you need an antivirus for that matter? We did a research, and we will be sharing our findings with you.
For Android Users;
When we talk about phones, two major words come in mind; Android and iPhone. It either belongs to the Android platform or its bitter competitor, Apple (iOS).
First off, if you want to know if your Android phone is safe or if it needs an antivirus, you will need to consider a few factors:
- Do You Trust ‘Unknown Sources’ Apps?
One of the factors that differentiate Android from its bitter rival is its openness. You can download apps and APK files from wherever you rant. Furthermore, you can root your phone and overhaul it with another Android device. The same is not possible with an iOS phone.
On default, an Android phone will come when the option to download from Unknown Sources is disabled. You will need to switch it manually and allow your phone to download and install apps and content that are not from the Google Play Store. Also, you will get a warning pop up message reminding you that allowing apps from unknown sources can expose your system to threats.
It is important to know that Google Play Store offers some protection when you buy/download apps from them. So, if you download apps from the Unknown Sources, it will only be putting you to a risk of an attack.
Yes, Android might have some generous ‘openness’ but this also means that you are more open to an attack compared to the restricted iOS devices.
So, if you will be going for the Unknown Sources apps and content, then you will need an Android Antivirus to keep you safe.
- The ‘Unsafe’ Google Play Store Content
It is true that the Google Play store will protect you from a cyber-attack. It offers some protection when you buy apps and digital items from them. This means that the Google Play stuff is safe. But are they truly safe?
Well, not really
While Google Play Store does offer some tight security with its content, it might not be 100% safe. One of the top measures to keep users safe is the introduction of Play Protect. With Play Protect, you can partially be sure that you will download a safe app from the Play Store. Play Protect will scan the Play Store for any malicious app. If it finds any malicious content, it will remove them from the platform.
Furthermore, Play Protect will extend its scanning to your local system. It will also scan your phone to find any suspicious apps. If you want to know if an app is safe or risky, you can manually scan it on Play Store.
To do this, simply open the Play Store App, then select My Apps & Games from the left menu tab. From there, navigate to the Updates section by tapping the Refresh Icon. This will automatically run the Play Protect features.
And while Play Protect might be the ‘detective’ of the Play Store, it is not 100% accurate. Too many times, users have come across malicious apps from the Play Store, even though Play Protect runs continuously on the platform.
For instance, some apps that were considered QR code scanners and alarm clocks contained the popular AsiaHitGroup Trojan. This Trojan usually tries to trick the user to grant full access to the phone, which then gives the hacker the control over the user’s personal data. Before these virus-based apps were discovered, tens of thousands of users had already downloaded them.
Multiple malware apps that pose as security software have been discovered on the Play Store. Another thing is the slow and uneven Android update. Some Android phones will be quick to update the needed security features, while others will get the updates days or weeks later.
So, do you need an antivirus for your Android Device?
Honestly, having an antivirus would be a wise decision to make. It helps you stay safe from the malware apps that get through the Play Protect scan. Furthermore, it keeps you safe from the apps from Unknown Sources.
For iOS Users:
The security level of the iOS users is way higher than those of Android users.
iPhones are very secured and their iOS operating system proves just how secure these devices are. iOS apps run within a sandbox, which is a section that keeps the apps from accessing your personal data that are stored within those apps or accounts on the phone. The main aim of this ‘sandbox’ is to keep you safe from any possible attack an preventing the malicious apps from having access to your personal details.
This approach is borrowed from the PC antivirus programs. Whenever the iOS detects a problematic app, it will seclude from other apps and data. Luckily, this process/behavior comes by default with every iOS device.
- Can the iOS Security be Breached?
Regardless of how tight the iOS can be with its security features, there are still some mishaps. Hackers have still managed to break through the iOS tight security wall. However, the jailbreak is only vulnerable with the older iOS versions. The newer versions come with the unmatched sandboxing. This will keep you secured and free from worries of a cyber-attack. You just have to ensure you have the latest iOS version.
With a jailbroken iOS, you can have multiple customization options, but this can also mess up your security assurance. Truthfully, it is difficult for your iPhone to be infected with a typical virus. You need to be extra cautious when downloading apps on your iPhone.
So, do you need an antivirus for your iOS device?
Well, not exactly, but it wouldn’t harm you to have one. Plus, you get extra protection when you have an antivirus.
Always ensure that you get the right antivirus for your Android or iPhone. You can check some of the best phone antivirus apps at thetop10sites.com/antivirus.