5 ways to avoid viruses on iPhone and Android

From unofficial applications, to antivirus, passing through security systems: here's what to do to protect yourself from hackers on your smartphone

Once upon a time they only found hospitality on computers. In the last few years, they've been quietly landing on smartphones as well, becoming a real scourge. We are talking about malware, malicious programs and a threat to users' personal data.

As many researches show, the number of viruses affecting mobile devices grew exponentially in 2017. And unfortunately, the data is predicted to grow. The main reason why malware has spread so quickly, arriving even on smartphones, is very simple. Today, any device that can connect to the network represents a potential target for hackers. Then, there's another reason why breaches are increasing dramatically: user superficiality. In spite of warnings, in fact, many continue to fall into cybercriminal traps, opening malicious links or attachments on their smartphones.

How to protect your smartphone

The main advice, therefore, to avoid a virus is to be careful. Most hackers, in order to succeed, need the involuntary cooperation of the victims. In fact, there are few malware that are able to infect mobile devices without tricking users. Starting from this consideration, we are now going to see how to keep your smartphone safe from malware. The following tips are good for both Android and iOS.

No unofficial apps

The first way to protect your smartphone from the clutches of cyber criminals is to download only official apps. This is especially true for owners of an Android device. As is well known, the green robot leaves users the freedom to install even apps outside of those in the Google Play Store. Downloading programs from the internet is like going fishing on a boat in a sea infested with sharks. You risk installing malicious apps. In the Android digital store, instead, programs are checked at the source, i.e. Google verifies that they don't contain malware before they are published.

As for Apple users, iOS is a very closed operating system, i.e. it doesn't easily allow you to install external applications. However, by resorting to jailbreaking procedures, systems that allow to "open" the iPhone, it is possible to download unofficial apps. As well as being unlawful, these techniques are very dangerous: you risk downloading malicious software onto your mobile device.

Beware of antivirus

This is a point that has always divided everyone, ever since smartphone security became important. There are two schools of thought. On one side are those who argue that antivirus, or similar applications, on smartphones are unnecessary. According to this faction, scanners against malware are not only unnecessary, but also risk containing viruses. The group also highlights the fact that these apps are very invasive to personal data. However, there are those who disagree and say that antivirus is a necessary weapon to combat cyber threats.

Set your phone on lock

Some will find the advice superfluous, but as an old Latin phrase goes, repetita iuvant. It is essential to remember to always lock your smartphone. It doesn't matter if it's through a password or by using the fingerprint reader: never leave your device unlocked. Think what could happen if you were to lose or misplace the device. Anyone, in such cases, would be able to access your data.

Are the pre-installed security systems reliable?

Yes, they are. Most smartphone manufacturers install malware security applications or systems on the devices. This software is generally the best way to protect yourself from malware.

Stay alert

All of the above measures are useless if you let your guard down. As mentioned, the main culprits are us, if a virus manages to infect your smartphone. Or if hackers get hold of our data. It is essential, therefore, to avoid freely sharing confidential information, open suspicious emails, enter passwords or bank details on unsafe sites. Do not click, then, on unknown links.