As mobile phones have become more and more integral to our lives, the risk of viruses that specifically target these phones has increased.
Mobile phone viruses are fairly common in the modern world, yet the general public’s grasp of how they can protect themselves and remove any viruses which have infected devices is still fairly low. There is a long way to go before the general public reach a level of awareness similar to that concerning computer viruses, so it is important that you are able to recognise and deal with any malware that may have made its way onto your smartphone.
A mobile phone virus is pretty much the same as a computer virus, in that it is an unwanted executable file that spreads through devices intent on acting in ways that the user does not control.
Mobile phone viruses spread through devices by any means of data transfer, of which there have now been many developed. These include Bluetooth, USB connections, MMS messaging and Internet download/connections.
Some mobile phone viruses are developed specifically to target these devices, whilst others can be contracted from infected computers after the two devices are connected.
Modern mobile phones offer users the chance to download a variety of applications – or apps. These are designed to enhance the function of our phones but can sometimes have the opposite effect.
This is due to the creation of malicious apps – a form of malware which disguises itself as a legitimate programme in order to introduce a virus onto the device. The malicious apps disguise themselves as legitimate programmes and are installed or downloaded onto the phone by unsuspecting users.
Some of these apps intercept messages and commands which may contain sensitive information, such as log-in details, which can then be used by those who created the malware.
Others infiltrate the phone and call or send messages to premium rate numbers once downloaded. This leaves users with a hefty phone bill at the end of the month as the texts are sent without the knowledge of the owner of the mobile.
Some malicious apps have even been used to obtain GPS co-ordinates for mobile users, uploading these details to a remote server.
There are a number of ways in which you can ensure the online security of your mobile phone. First and foremost, you should monitor the connections that your phone has. If you have Bluetooth connectivity then consider turning it off when it is not required or hiding your phone from public view.
You should also keep an eye open for security updates that will let you know what kind of file names you should be wary of. Check with security professionals, such as Trend Micro, for more information on potential threats and to download specific mobile phone security software.
The installation of this software is perhaps the best way to keep your smartphone safe and you can even obtain it for computer Tablets and other portable devices as well.
This is because many developers have recognised the threat which mobile phone viruses pose and have developed software specifically for the diagnosis and removal of harmful software. There are a variety of options available to you, so make sure that the security software you choose meets your needs and is compatible with the system requirements of your phone.