Does My Smartphone Need Anti-Virus Software?

5:47 PM, Feb 7, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, N.C. -- Most of us use our phones just as much, if not more, than our computers. You know how important it is to protect your computer from hackers and viruses. What about your phone?

Apple locks its iPhones and approves all software that runs on them. Computer experts tell WFMY News 2 it's nearly impossible to hack them.

However, you can download a program to "jailbreak" your phone. "Jailbreaking" opens the door and lets you add features, but it also voids your warranty and makes your phone easier to hack.

"This can definitely open up the door to huge problems with the phone and the functionality and security," Tech Scout Computer Expert Kent Meeker said.

With Android phones, the door to your phone is cracked open. This gives you more flexibility to install programs. But, it also means you're more vulnerable.

Computer experts recommend installing virus protection on Android phones, and being cautious.

I.T. Worx President Jeffrey Loy said, "I would recommend people become diligent about what they're downloading and what that app can do. What can it access?"

If you connect to free WIFI and want to send sensitive information, make sure you see a little lock icon on your browser. This means the computer is taking your data, scrambling it up, sending it through the air and piecing it all back together on the other end.

If the lock isn't there, and you're on free WIFI, someone can grab your data out of the air and walk away with it.

"They can actually see the data as it flows across the network," Loy said.

Meeker added, "Technology has surpassed how quickly we're able to implement it properly and securely."

When it comes to your phone and computer security, think of it this way, you wouldn't dream of leaving the front door of your house wide open while you're not home. So, don't leave your computer and phones wide open, either.

When it comes to anti-virus programs, the experts tell us popular choices like Norton Anti-Virus and Mc-Afee can bog down computers. Microsoft's Security Essentials is free and won't slow down your computer as much.

Here are links to other resources:

Does Your Android Phone Need an Antivirus? 

How to Stay Safe on Public WIFI

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