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Question about the security of smartphones (web browsing, viruses)


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Old 21-09-2013, 23:19
yesman2012
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I bought a smartphone a week ago, Sony Xperia SP to be specific. Its my first ever smartphone

I'd like to know more about the security and the threat of encountering some sort of malware while web browsing on it, particularly with internet banking and anything that requires a log-in. Basically, how big a threat is it in general?

Is it necessary to have installed an anti-virus app on your phone? I mean, what measures are you supposed to put in place? Is there even a firewall or something like that on smartphones?

My one came with McAfee, but I've heard so many complaints about it being just another useless bloatware....
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Old 22-09-2013, 01:24
cnbcwatcher
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McAfee is terrible, whether it's on a computer or a phone. I'd uninstall it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKgf5PaBzyg

I use a security app called Lookout. It has anti-virus and it can also be used to find your phone if it's lost or stolen. There's a version of Kaspersky Antivirus for Android (I assume that's the OS you're using) and that's also good. You pay for it though. I don't think I've had any problems with malware. Like on a normal PC (or Mac - yes Macs can get viruses ) you just have to be careful. I've never had any problems but better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 22-09-2013, 02:57
yesman2012
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is having an anti-virus app as necessary as having an anti-virus software on a PC/laptop?
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Old 22-09-2013, 09:41
Thine Wonk
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No, it's not. In fact it isn't needed as long as you read the reviews on Apps that you install, take a moment to look at the permissions and generally stick with well known apps.

If you want to install more obscure apps or apps from "unknown sources" i.e changing settings on the phone and then side loading your own stuff you've downloaded from the internet, rather than the Plan store, then I'd say yes.

Apps are sandboxed on Android and use the operating systems API to interact with phone components, but due to real time multitasking you can get bad apps that try and make calls or send premium rate SMS, however these are extremely rare and normally side loaded by the user or dodgy apps that have "just" appeared on the play store with no reviews etc..

If you read the comments or stick to known / most popular apps then you're fine and you don't need it. Most AV on Android is really just an App 'blacklist' anyway.
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