We all know that viruses are the WORST! They slow down your internet and your computer and cause a lot of headaches. Most people aren’t aware that your phone, tablet or devices can actually get viruses as well.
I do get angry when people say that using an Apple device will completely protect them from acquiring a virus since that is absolutely untrue. There are increasing reports of viruses on Mac computers, and as the company gains market share, the viruses created for the platform will continue to increase.
However, it is highly unlikely you will contract a virus on an iOS device. The main reason is that iOS is so locked down that even apps like our Boomerang Parental Controls can’t access what we need to fully protect the device for children and parents. This is not to say it could never happen though. There are definitely reports of viruses on iOS devices, but it is not as common, and usually involves mishandling by the user.
In Android devices, you may have turned a setting on to install a program outside of the Google Play store. One of the best ways to prevent contracting a virus is to make sure this setting is turned off. Go into your system settings and swipe down to Security. Inside this menu, you’ll see the Unknown sources option. Check to make sure the toggle is OFF.
Be Aware Of What You Click
The number one habit that will save you from most viruses both on your mobile device and on your computer, is to think twice (and sometimes even 3 or 4 times) before you click on ANY links. This goes for links in text messages, even from friends, links in emails, on the internet, and even mobile ads inside apps.
Attackers are well versed in what works and what doesn’t and will do anything to entice you to click their link to a malicious file or program, of their fake login page to steal your credentials. They will say just about anything to make you think you need to click that link, including sending it from your actual contacts (attackers can spoof addresses to make things appear like they are from someone you know).
Often you can hover over a link to see exactly where it is pointing if you are on a desktop, but on a mobile device, it’s much more difficult. The best way to make sure you are visiting a legit site is to browse to the site manually by typing in the address in the browser instead of clicking the link.
Most of the top virus protection software companies have a mobile version of their product. I always say, a good virus protection program will just quietly protect my device without a lot of extra fluff. Some free versions will even allow you to remotely lock your device if you lose it, while the paid version will allow you to completely wipe the data from the device remotely.
Watch For Warning Signs
The biggest warning sign that you have a virus on your device is a lot of pop-up ads. Viruses can also significantly slow down your browsing. If you are noticing that your devices are getting slower, and you are seeing more pop-ups then you probably should be, then it’s time to run a scan on your device.
If you happen to see a big warning sign on a website claiming that you already have a virus… don’t believe it. As mentioned above, they just want you to click their link. The best solution to know for sure is to run an official virus scan from a trusted virus protection program.