Does Your Smartphone Need Anti-Virus Protection?

Does Your Smartphone Need Anti-Virus Protection?

Joelle Alcaidinho
Sep 16, 2011

After hearing about what happened to Scarlett Johansson it seems like everyone is talking about what they can do to keep the private data on their smartphone private. While it is important to follow best practices, it might be time, depending on which OS you rock on your smartphone, to consider adding an extra level of protection.

While web based threats cut across all smartphones, app based threats are far more prevalent in more open platforms that do not have a review process for apps. Sadly both of these threats are growing and OS developers are scrambling to keep up with security updates and patches. As shown in the infographic above, Android users today are 2.5 x's more likely to download an app with malware than they were at the beginning of the year and people are 3 x's more likely to click on a phishing attack link on their phone than on their desktop computer.

What can one do in addition to following best practices? Invest in some mobile security software. We were given a demo recently by Lookout and have to say we were quite impressed. Lookout offers security against phishing, malware, and spyware, backup, missing device location and management solutions for your Android, Windows Mobile, and Blackberry device. They have both a free and premium solution ($30 a year) and for the comprehensive array of services they offer we think that we would strongly consider going premium if we were Android users.

While there is no known malware for iOS users, there is an anti-virus app solution to vet files. VirusBarrier iOS lets you easily scan email attachments, other files you have access to on your iOS device, or files on remote locations such as MobileMe and DropBox, web servers or WebDAV and FTP shares. This app costs $2.99 and due to the secure design of iOS cannot run automatically or at scheduled intervals, but instead works only on demand.

What do you think, ae we a bit paranoid? Are you considering opting for some mobile security on your smartphone?

(Images: Joelle Alcaidinho Infographic: Lookout Mobile Security)

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