Does Your Phone or Tablet Need AntiVirus?
First of all, don't worry, we aren't trying to sell you protection for your phone or tablet.
We want to discuss if your device even needs antivirus or anti malware tools installed.
The short of it is, technically, no.
However, very powerful, convincing and often scare tactics marketing would have you believe otherwise. As usual, we try our best to give you an honest and informed take on technology. Sure, we’d love to hear from you, and would love it if you bought more of "stuff", but the purpose of our emails is foremost to provide useful, digestible information.
So why are we claiming you don’t need phone/tablet protection?
Well, the answer is quite simple really… your device using Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android OS is fundamentally different from that of a computer. A Computer running Windows or macOS allows the end-user full access to its operating system which includes access to the drive where system files are stored. The end-user can use Windows Explorer or macOS Finder to access and edit core system files, similarly so can a threat like a virus or malware.
When we compare this to an iOS or Android device we get the complete opposite, an operating system so locked down that there’s very little you can do with it outside of downloading and opening apps. What’s more, the way you download these apps is highly controlled and must be done so through secure and maintained platforms such as Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. You can’t simply just download and open stuff at random like you can on a computer, with these devices there’s a lot more control which requires you to have a specific app to open a file, app’s which have been tested and checked for vulnerabilities.
It is also important to consider that apps by their nature have extremely limited access to the operating system on your device. Apps typically aren’t stored in the same part of the device as the operating system, this in itself is a massive layer of security. We can also apply a little common sense here, Apple and Google aren’t going to give another company such as an antivirus tool, additional access to its systems, these apps have the same access to your system as something like your notes tool. This is by design and fundamental to device security.
So what can you do?
System security for Android and Apple devices is usually one of their highest priorities. Your best protection is to keep your device up to date.
Exceptions to the rule
There are some exceptions to whether you need protection but this is mainly caused by some form of tinkering and not something that is enabled by default.
· If you’ve “jailbroken” your device, that is to hack into it and load custom firmware then you are at risk.
· Google devices have a feature called “Google Play Protect” which is enabled by default, if you’ve turned this off then you are at risk.
· Unknown exploits may occur in future, however, should this happen, an Antivirus or Anti malware app isn’t likely to protect you.
Whatever you decide is completely up to you, we’re just presenting facts and our opinion on Antivirus/Malware for your phones and tablet devices. As always, take action at your own risk.
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