Smart phones and tablets are not immune to cyber threats and should be protected just the same as our computers. On the US market you essentially have 2 choices an Android or Apple (Blackberry uses the Android Operation Systems now).
How do I know if my device has a virus or some other security breach?
There are a few key indicators to look for if you suspect this has happened to you:
Unknown data usage – If you have a 6Gig data usage plan and a week into your plan you get an alert that you no longer have any data left, chances are you need to look into this with your carrier.
Unknown or unauthorized charges on your bill – When you receive your monthly bill and it is not in accordance with your contract, contact your carrier to inquire about the extra charges.
Pop-ups, notifications and fake system warnings – If you are getting annoying pop-ups, strange notifications or fake system warnings, odds are you have a virus.
Loss of normal battery life – Every device has a different battery life and batteries do not last forever. Moreover, users may have different power settings to optimize how long the device lasts on a single charge. If you are used to having your device last all day and it all of a sudden has to start getting plugged in by noon you might have a problem. Check on YouTube on how to check your specific device’s battery usage. If you find an unusual app you can try disabling it to see if that helps. If you find that it is the culprit and you do not need this app then uninstall it.
If there is un-reversible damage that cannot be corrected, an option is to conduct a factory restore where the phone or tablet is brought back to its original factory state. Please note a factory reset WILL DELETE EVERYTHING on your device and it cannot be recovered. You can also take your device to your authorized carrier to have them take a look.
For Android phones – Do not “Root” your device. Unless you are a professional Android developer and do not intend to use your device for anything except for development work. A rooted phone provides root/super user access to the critical files system of the device. Just don’t do it!
Install one of the recommended:
• Avast Mobile Security
• Bitdefender AntiVirus
• McAfee Security
• Kaspersky Mobile AntiVirus
• Sophos AntiVirus
• Norton Security and AntiVirus
• Trend Micro Security and AntiVirus
All of these choices have a free version that is just as powerful as the paid versions. For the most part the only difference between the free and paid are ads when you open the app but do not pop up anywhere else. You can “X” out of the ads or disregard them without recourse.
For Apple users – Do not “jailbreak” your device. Just like the Android, jailbreaking an Apple device provides root/super user access to the critical file system of the device. Again, just don’t do it!
It is worth noting that the Apple App Store is more stringent on testing apps before they are allowed to be put in the app store. Apple charges the app developer (free app or not) and actual human interaction when testing the app. For this reason, Apple devices typically do not get viruses, however, it is also better safe than sorry and you should consider installing an anti-virus app anyway.
Install one of the recommended:
• Avira Mobile Security
• Mobile Security & Anti-Theft Protection of IPhone
• Lookout Security and Identity Theft Protection
• McAfee Mobile Security
• Trend Micro Mobile Security
Like the Android counterparts, these app come in free and paid versions.