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  • Mobile Security: Do You Really Need It?
Technology Articles > Software > Security & Privacy > Mobile Security: Do You Really Need It?

System security is a no-brainer in most cases, right? If you want to keep your computer or network out of harm’s way, and away from hackers, it’s important to purchase a top security suite – but, what about your smartphone? Do you need a special anti-malware app for your smartphone? Lots of anti-virus and anti-malware companies have been spending millions of marketing dollars attempting to instill fear into smartphone users (specifically, Android users). While it is important to remain cautious when using your smartphone, it might not be entirely necessary to purchase a special anti-malware program for your phone.

Why Mobile Security Might Not Be Necessary

Quick note: since most anti-malware developers target Android devices, I’ll focus on Android throughout this article. This brings me to a very important question: why are anti-malware companies focusing on Android users? The answer here is two-fold. First, Android is an open platform, which means that app developers are not tightly monitored by Google as opposed to Apple, a company that makes it tough for app developers to pass through the app approval process. Second, Google is relatively slow to send out app updates. If an app is found to be a detriment, it could be awhile before that app is removed or updated (as opposed to Apple, once again).

These are the two main reasons that anti-malware companies are targeting Android users, and you might have seen a fair number of adds highlighting these very reasons. However, many anti-malware apps that have been developed for Android simply don’t work. Why? It’s nearly impossible for one anti-malware app to scan all apps that exist on an Android device. The other reason is that the types of malware targeting Android devices are somewhat unknown, and an anti-malware can’t target malware that isn’t known to the security app. So, what are you to do if you don’t want your Android device to fall prey to malware?

Be Careful What You Download

It’s tough to determine which apps are safe to download and which will harm your phone. But, you can spend some time reading those short user reviews prior to downloading any app. If you see that a number of users have had problems with an app, it might be best to avoid that potential download – even if an app looks great. Sure, it takes time to review every app that you might be interested in, but this will save you a great deal of hassle and protect your phone from attacks.

Lastly – and this is a very important tip! – make sure that you read permissions before downloading any app! If an app requests permission to scan your contact list, access your personal information, or post anywhere on your behalf, skip it. The truth of the matter is that your phone is susceptible to attacks, but you can’t rely on anti-malware apps to protect you. Instead, you must use common sense, read reviews, and always consider how much freedom you want a newly downloaded app to have when it comes to your personal information.