One of the most common questions smartphone users ask is, 'does your mobile phone need an antivirus? 'Let us find out.
Increase in Number of Mobile users globally
The number of smartphone users globally is enormously increasing. Today there are a staggering 3.5 billion smartphone users worldwide. You can expect this forecast to grow by several hundred million in the coming years. Also, the number may climb up to 3.8 billion by 2021 as per a survey.
The United States of America, China & India have the highest number of smartphone users globally.
Studies project that Mobile commerce transactions will reach $2.91 trillion in 2020. Hence, it is a massive 25.4 percent more amount than the $2.32 trillion done in 2019. The mobile commerce market has seen a substantial average of 33.8% year-on-year growth since 2016, according to Oberlo.
The smartphone has become an integral part of our lives. With so many people shifting much of their routine tasks through smartphones like making online grocery purchases, money transfers, accessing emails, social media, personal chats, etc.
Can a Virus infect a Smartphone?
As smartphones bring the world at your fingertips, it can cause considerable risks to you & your data if you do not take sufficient precautions. With such a high dependency on your smartphone, it is becoming an ideal tool for hackers to sneak into your personal space and steal valuable data and sensitive information.
If you thought that viruses and malware only affect your computer, unfortunately, you are wrong. Though, as per reports, viruses have not yet infected smartphones, similar to computers, it doesn't mean it is safe from malware. A virus is just a specific category of malware, and malware can cause a lot of damage.
Malware can lead to data thefts, identity theft, and it can even physically harm your device.
According to reports, PlayStore & AppStore block a staggering 24,000 malicious apps every single day from the platform. This number is so significant that we can safely assume that at least a few malicious apps are getting through the store's security layers and onto your phone. These malicious apps majorly target your bank account details, personal data, identity, and sensitive data like passwords or classified business information.
How does malware reach a Smartphone
Let us understand the different ways in which malware gets an entry in your device.
- Installing malicious apps on your device through non-trusted sources
- Using outdated and vulnerable operating systems
- Clicking on suspicious and infected email links
- Connecting over unsecured Wi-Fi networks in public places
- Opening text messages with phishing links
Built-in Safety Features on Android
Smartphone operating system manufacturers are aware of mobile devices' threats and include some built-in safety features in the OS itself.
For instance, Google bundles the "Google Play Protect" with every android phone. It is Google's built-in malware protection for Android devices. According to Google, Play Protect evolves every day with machine learning algorithms.
Apart from the AI security, Google team checks every app that comes on the Play Store. Hence, an app is allowed if it adheres to all the security policies of the android platform.
Google Chrome, the default browser on Android devices, also has a built-in 'Safe Browsing Protection.' This feature ensures you are warned and taken back safely if some website is suspicious in its approach.
Smart Tips to Protect Mobile Devices from malware
Apart from the built-in security features, we recommend taking some necessary safety measures while using your smartphone.
Let us take a look at how you can keep your smartphone safe from the bad guys.
- Always use the original operating system. Never Root your Android device until you are aware of what you are doing. If a malicious app gets root access, it can deprive your device of essential security patches and features. Also, it can act as a backdoor for hackers.
- Download apps only from legitimate sources. Most often Download apps only from the Play Store or App Store. Make sure you are reading reviews and feedbacks before you install new apps.
- Regularly update your device software, including both your OS and the apps that you use. This practice makes sure that your device has the latest security updates.
- When browsing the internet, try to connect only through a trusted VPN. It helps you to secure your data and online identity by encrypting them.
- Never click on links that look suspicious on the internet or in text messages. In any case, never share your lock screen PIN or passwords with anyone over phone calls or through online portals.
- If you have sensitive data on your device, ensure that you have encrypted the data to protect it against hacks and data theft.
Does your Mobile Phone Need an Antivirus?
You may ask, "If I have all of the above, do I need an antivirus for my Android?" The definite answer is 'Yes,' you need one. A mobile antivirus does an excellent job of protecting your device against malware threats. Antivirus for Android makes up for the security weaknesses of the Android device. Besides, an Antivirus also keeps you safe from the latest online threats.
Key Features of Antivirus for Android
There are many good antivirus packages available in the market for smartphones, especially android systems. But you will want to make sure that any antivirus you choose should at the least have these features to make sure you are altogether getting protected:
- Real-time Malware protection
- On-demand Scanning
- Minimal impact on system resources
- Negligible effect on Battery life
- Check for malware on installed apps
- Remote data wipe off option
- Able to Locate and securely lock your devices online
Best Antivirus available for Android
Amongst many options available in the market, Bitdefender Mobile Antivirus is an excellent choice. Bitdefender has been a pioneer in Computer antivirus protection programs and has made sure that they carry the same legacy in mobile antivirus as well.
Bitdefender Mobile Security for Android gives complete protection against viruses and malware. It is free for use with limited features and contains all of the features mentioned above.
Bitdefender's best part is that it uses the same cloud-scanning technology that it uses in its computer antivirus platforms. Hence, it has instant access to updated virus definitions and still enabling a feather-light performance. It virtually has no impact on phone battery life. Additionally, it also provides a Secure VPN for an anonymous and safe experience while browsing the internet.
Bitdefender Total Security protects Windows, macOS, iOS, and even Android devices. It offers multi-layered protection against ransomware. Advanced parental controls feature makes sure your kids are safe online. If Bitdefender Total Security is in your wishlist, you can take advantage of the latest Bitdefender coupons to get the best deal on your purchase.
To conclude our discussion, it all boils down to how and what you use your smartphone and the sensitivity of data you keep on your device.
All of these points decide on the level of security you require for your device. But if you ask us, we believe, 'prevention is better than cure.'
Having a good mobile antivirus on your Android will always be doing good for you than risking not having one.