You probably already know how important it is to protect your computer from viruses, but many smartphone owners don't realize that their devices need protection too. Your smartphone is essentially a pocket-sized computer that holds your personal data, important documents and other files. If a virus infects your phone, it can damage your data or steal private information, such as your passwords and bank account number. By taking a few precautions, you'll protect your phone from viruses and other digital dangers.
Protect your smartphone with anti-virus software. Your phone's app store may offer free anti-virus software.
Put a PIN or password on your smartphone and keep it locked when it's not in use. Your phone may also have a lock pattern feature or facial-recognition lock.
Stay away from suspicious websites when browsing the Internet on your phone. Viruses can be installed on your phone through malicious websites. If you receive an unexpected email or text message with a link in it, don't click on the link. The link may direct you to a virus-infected website. This is true even if the email or text appears to have come from a friend or a legitimate business, such as a retailer or bank.
Download an app or document only if it comes from a trustworthy source, such as your phone's app store. Downloading apps from third-party websites may put your phone at risk.
Avoid modifying your phone in ways that weren't intended by the manufacturer. This modification, also called "jailbreaking," makes it easier for viruses to slip into the device.
Encrypt the files and data stored on the phone. Some phones have built-in data encryption that protects your data from prying eyes. Encryption usually shields documents, contacts, calendars, media files and email attachments. It also works for data stored on the phone's memory card.
Avoid connecting your phone to unsecured wireless networks. These networks don't need a password to join, so anyone can connect to your device and infect it with a virus without you knowing about it.
- Check your phone bill for unauthorized charges every month. If you notice charges for apps you didn't download, for example, your phone may have been hacked or hit with a virus.
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