A computer virus is a malicious code or program which alters a computer negatively. It may attach itself to a legitimate program or document and execute itself remotely.
For example, email viruses travel as an attachment to an e-mail message, and usually replicate by automatically mailing themselves to the contacts in the victim's e-mail address book. Some e-mail viruses don't even require a double click to launch themselves. They can also spread through downloads and social media links.
Damage that viruses may cause include: damage to data or software on the computer, may display a political or false message, reduction in memory or disk space, slowing down the system, change in all the file names to a single name etc.
On the other hand, malware is short for malicious software. They are used for malicious purposes including gathering sensitive information, disrupting computer operation, generating pop-ups, creation of backdoors etc. While, it’s often a software, it can also be in the form of script or code. Malware is a general term referring to a variety of intrusive, annoying or hostile softwares. It includes trojan, viruses, worms, adware, spyware, rootkits and other malicious programs.
Since, both have potential to cause irreversible and irreparable loss to the system, let’s learn ways to protect our mobile devices from viruses and malwares.
How to Protect Mobile Device from Malwares and Viruses?
Here are the plausible steps that can be taken to protect mobile devices, from malwares and viruses:
Don’t Root / Jailbreak your device:
Though rooting enables you to overcome the Android phones limitations, added by the developers. But, it also removes a lot of its built-in security, thus leaving your device to fend for itself. In short, jail-breaking makes your mobile phone more vulnerable and susceptible to external attacks.
Use a VPN:
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It’s akin to a secure “tunnel” that enables you to browse the internet and share media & information safely and securely. VPN is especially useful while surfing over a public network like free Wi-Fi of airports. VPN ensures encrypted communication between user and server, and thus protects you from Man-In-The-Middle attacks.
Download apps only from Playstore and Appstore:
Downloading apps from third-party apps can be dangerous. This is because, Google and Apple, ensure that their apps are malwares free. However, no similar checks and balances are available when downloading apps from external sources.
An example is WhatsApp Gold that was laden with malwares. Therefore, download apps only from reputable sources.
Encrypt your data:
If you have sensitive personal or professional data, you should encrypt it. It will remain secure, even in case malwares steals it. That’s because information encrypted with AES-256 will take forever to break the encryption.
Do mobile vulnerability scanning:
It’s commonly said, what you don’t know, you can’t prevent. Therefore, use apps like APUS Security to scan your device for presence of malwares and viruses.
Install Updates and Patches for your software and hardware regularly
Manufacturers of softwares and hardwares release updates and patches to fix zero day vulnerabilities or newer security flaws found in their products. Updating them, to their latest version patches provides utmost layer of protection.
Learn 3 cyber security softwares you should have in your computer, here: https://cyber-cops.com/blog/3-cyber-security-softwares-must-in-computer-2020