How does your device get a virus?

Smartphone and tablet viruses can slow down your device and compromise your personal information. In part one of a two-part article, Ryan explains how your smart device can become infected.

Dealing with computers over the years has made most computer users knowledgeable when it comes to avoiding malware or viruses. However, many people still think of smartphones and tablets as impenetrable. While viruses and malware are certainly less likely to infect your smart device than your PC, they’re still out there.

Here are the most common ways your smartphone or tablet can become infected:

Downloading apps from unofficial app stores
When downloading apps for your devices, make sure you stick to official app stores, such as iTunes or Google Play. Employees monitor these locations and attempt to ensure that malware doesn’t appear, but malware can still slip through the cracks. Downloading apps from third-party stores isn’t always a death sentence for your device. It’s just important that you weigh up the risk before proceeding.

Downloading untrustworthy apps
As malware can still be found on official app stores, another way malware can find its way into your device is through official app store purchases or downloads. Sticking to apps with good ratings that have been on the app store for a little while will greatly reduce your chances of downloading malware.

Suspicious links
Clicking on suspicious links can lead you to malevolent websites with viruses and malware. You should keep the same level of vigilance you use on your computer to avoid malware, and this includes recognising suspicious emails and websites as fake.

Tomorrow, we’ll tell you how to get rid of a smartphone virus, should your device become infected.

Related articles:
Technology glossary
How to spot a fake email
Smartphone virus hits millions

YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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