Mobile Antivirus – Do You Really Need It?

Using a Windows computer without antivirus is something simply unimaginable these days. The great popularity of the Microsoft operating system makes virus writers focus on making viruses for Windows, which has a much higher potential audience. This explains in parts the lower incidence of computer viruses in other operating systems. It is also important to note that Unix-based systems have had security focus since their inception, which also helps to reduce the occurrence of viruses in these systems.

Mobile Antivirus - Do You Really Need It?

And the cell phones? Do I need to use antivirus on my phone? Is there such a danger as to justify this? It depends on the operating system of your phone and the care you have when installing programs, opening websites and reading emails. One problem with using antivirus on mobile is that it will always be occupying the memory of the device, leaving your phone less quick than it could be. On smartphones with more limited memory this can be a very high price to pay.

In Android for example each app is somehow isolated from others. When installing a new program on your device you can see a list of the permissions that the program has, which limits the radius of the action of the same if you want to do something wrong on your device. I do not use any anti virus for mobile, but I follow the safety recommendations below on my Android:

  • I only install applications that are well rated by other users
  • I always check if the permissions requested by the application are compatible with the app’s function
  • I never open links I do not know in e-mails that I receive
  • I only install apps that are available through the Android Market, since they also do a security control based on the complaints and denunciations of the users
  • do not modify or replace system files
  • I try to use the most popular and tested apps by a lot of people

With these simple recommendations your Android phone will hardly need an antivirus. For other operating systems like Symbian, iOS or even Windows Phone 7 these tips remain valid as they are very general.

Is that you? How do you feel about using antivirus on your phone? Do you use any on your device? Does it make a difference to you? Have you had trouble before?