Is your smartphone safe… or is it full of malware?

a virusYou’ve probably already installed antivirus software like AVG or Norton on your PC and laptop. You’re crazy not to. But what about your smartphone?

Because smartphones are so small and neat, we don’ always think of them as computers but that’s exactly what they are – a miniature computer that is just as vulnerable to malware, viruses and other nasties as any other gadget that accesses the internet.

There’s a growing menagerie of malware specifically designed for smartphones, no surprise when there are so many millions of them around and so few owners protect their data, privacy, security and finances via their smartphones.

A peep into the horrid world of smartphone viruses

What smartphone malware is already out there? Some of them are truly awful, scary stuff, and new ones coming online all the time, each more sophisticated than the last.

  • There’s DROIDREAM, a horrible Trojan that hides inside more than 50 Google apps on the search engine’s official app store. It runs in the middle of the night and secretly downloads more malware while you sleep.
  • IKEE infects Apple devices, spreading to other smartphones via WiFi, replacing your phone’s wallpaper with an image of Rick Astley… harmless enough but a pain in the ass.
  • OBAD is a stealthy multi-tasker that exploits a tiny error in Android code and does all sports of horrid things like using premium-rate services – which you then have to pay for – and installing yet more malware to do more scary stuff while you’re blithely unaware. In fact it’s so nasty and so good at its job experts call it the Swiss Army Knife of Trojans
  • Russian banking Trojans are particularly dodgy. Some prevent antivirus software from detecting them and even stop you resetting your phone to its factory settings.

How to block malware on your smartphone

If you’d like to stay safe from all this Machiavellian mischief and save your finances from potential disaster, you need smartphone anti-virus software.

How do you find the best value and most effective protection? If you Google ‘best antivirus for smartphones’ and restrict your search to the past month, you’ll get a bunch of search results that’ll help you make a sensible decision. Some software costs as little as £9.99 and Macafee is particularly good value since one license covers all your internet accessing devices, smartphones included.

Can you do without it?

Yes, and millions of us do. But as the risks get more serious, the last thing you want is to lose out financially or end up a victim of identity theft. Get it sorted now… and you can relax!