Malware on Smartphones

Recently there has been a rising increase of virus and malware infections showing up on smartphones.  That’s right, now the viruses and infections are not just limited to computers.  This has mostly been affecting Droid phones due to how much easier it is to get software published into the Droid Marketplace, but we’ll talk about that in depth a little more later.

First, if you have a Droid, let’s talk about what you can do to protect yourself.  As with a computer, it all comes down to playing it safe.  If you are not careful what you download and install from the Droid Marketplace, then you will probably get infected.  It is very similar to being on a computer where being careful is your best defense.  However Droid has been releasing apps that help detect and protect your phone from these malicious attacks.  One such app is called Lookout Mobile Security, and was recommended to my friend by Verizon after her phone got hijacked.  There are several ones out there for the Droid, but so far that is the one that seems more popular.

So what if you don’t have a Droid?  Like me I am an iPhone user and this simply has not been a problem for the iPhone.  This is mostly in part to do with how the different app stores are being handled.  If you are a developer and want to send an app out for people to download for the Droid Marketplace all you have to do is pay $25.  Google is doing no checking on what the app is or if it is malware.  Personally I think this is a fail point on Google’s part, as they assume that the end user will protect themselves.  However if you are a developer and want to release an app for the Apple App Store, you have to pay about $100 and go through weeks of Apple testing and checking the app before it is released.  This is a great security measure on Apple’s part, even if it does make developers work harder and raises the price of some of Apple’s devices.

So when looking for a smartphone keep in mind that while the iPhone is more expensive, there is also a great amount of security that comes with it.  However the Droids have come up to speed pretty fast and can compete with the iPhone almost one to one, but at what cost?  While I use a Windows PC and I understand that there is a risk of virus infection, it is not something I want to have to worry about on my mobile device.  So if you are a Droid user take extra care when getting apps from the Droid Marketplace.  And possibly install and use a protection app like Lookout Mobile Security.