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Should we be concerned about viruses on our smartphones?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / January 28, 2011 5:55 AM PST

Should we be concerned about viruses on our smartphones?

My smartphone is my daily life line to cyberspace and it's with me at all times. As more people like me use their smartphones for their everyday tasks--surfing the Internet, e-mail, banking, running apps, etc., (and of course phone calls!), should we all be concerned with viruses, spyware, and other malware that can hurt our devices or tap into our phone to steal private data from it? I haven't really heard of such cases, but I want to be prepared for the worst. What's the chances of my smartphone getting infected by a virus or even someone hacking into it that could really mess it up? Are there already virus protection programs available for smartphones? Am I just being a bit too paranoid to something that is a non-issue? Any information or facts and advice would be very helpful. Thanks.

--Submitted by David L.

Here are some member answers to get you started, but
please read all the advice and suggestions that our
members have contributed to this question.

Smartphone security... --Submitted by John.Wilkinson

Should we be concerned about viruses on our smartphones? --Submitted by ajtrek

Adding to ajtrek robust response --Submitted by Charleseye

Be aware of geotagging in response to ajtrek-- Submitted by warpete

Smartphones can get viruses - but it's very complicated. --Submitted by darrenforster99

Thank you to all who contributed!

If you have any additional opinion, facts to share, or an answer to address David's concerns, click on the reply link below and submit it. If your answer has facts from an online resource, please cite the source and provide a link. Thanks!
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by catweazl / January 28, 2011 9:52 AM PST

Are you still living in the tech-prehistory? Sorry for the harsh beginning, but i think that people still think that there phone is safe. Forget it, even a Linux pc is'nt safe these days. Yes get a protection on your phone. I have got one since I use a phone that is capable to go 'on line' . Better be safe than sorry. And remember to keep your bleu tooth and wifi off till you need it. Not waiting for somebody else to drain your pfone when you are not aware of it,

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Smart phones, viruses, and malware
by hgilreath1 / January 28, 2011 12:39 PM PST

Any device that connects to the internet is susceptible to viruses, malware, and potentially hackers. Personally I have only had my smartphone since just before christmas but have yet to run into and problems such as these. I have yet to install virus protection because the virus applications for mobile devices are relatively new. Some of the most important things you can do to prevent viruses is to turn off wifi when it is not needed, only visit trusted sources, never open any attachments in emails and text messages that are from unknown sources, only download applications from your smartphone's market. Unfortunately, we will never be able to fully protect our devices, pcs, laptops, and others from these kinds of attacks unless it's never connected to the web. I would recommend doing a google search for the most effective anti virus app for your particular brand of smartphone

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Be alert, but not alarmed
by JerryB007 / January 28, 2011 1:15 PM PST

I've had my S60v5 phone for nearly a year and have used it without anti-virus software for most of that time.
About four or five months back I installed the Kaspersky Mobile Security 30 day trial. During the trial period, including when I ran a scan for the first time, it found no viruses. I decided then that there was no point in paying for anti-virus software at this stage.
The relative diversity of operating systems and lower numbers of smart phones (when compared to PCs) still makes it less lucrative for hackers to bother with trying to infect your phone, but, with smart phones grabbing an ever-increasing market share and our use of phones for things like internet banking, this is changing and more bad people are turning their attention towards our phones.
I use my phone for browsing more than I do for calls, but I don't use my phone to access porn websites, I don't leave my Bluetooth in discoverable mode (I don't use BT at all) and I don't send or receive MMS messages, which I gather (from my own Google searches) are the main ways that your phone can get infected. If you do any of these things then you will probably have a different experience and may need protection.
I'd suggest using a trial version of an anti-virus programme and then see what it finds. If you're clean then you'd have to doubt the worth of paying for a full version. However, if you're infected...
I installed NetQin Anti-virus on my phone a few weeks ago because it is free and because I figure at some stage a virus will come my way. It hasn't found any viruses so far.

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No you don't That's what AT&T told me
by gringojo / January 28, 2011 2:51 PM PST

They said they Pre Screen all the Aps Also

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(NT) Quit using your phone for a computer!
by janitorman / January 28, 2011 4:16 PM PST
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May I inquire why?
by B1nmidm0 / January 30, 2011 1:18 AM PST

Smart phones are one of the most wonderful additions to daily life that's come out in years. Small, easy to use and with hundreds of applications that actually makes life more enjoyable, the idea of giving up smart phone technology makes about as much sense as forgoing hot water. When it works well - use it. 1 in 3 new cell phone contracts are for smart phones and I'm betting the only reason the number isn't higher is because people are looking for ways to cut their monthly expenses. I'll gladly give up pizza once a month and keep my hand held computer. As far as risk, life is filled with it. We either drive ourselves nuts worrying about it, or we use logical precautions and accept there's a certain degree of risk with everything in life - including a hot shower.

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Don't do financial stuff on your smartphone...
by Doh_1 / January 28, 2011 4:48 PM PST

Yes, you should be concerned with viruses, worms, apps that behave badly, etc. on your smartphone. I'm willing to bet that both new apps that have new ways of misbehaving can slip past Apple. Even Apple, horror of horrors, can make mistakes, or not realize all the implications of all the aspects of complex apps, and all it takes is one of the above and your identity is out there ready to be used by some crook. I would not conduct my financial affairs on any smartphone, there's so much else that you can do with it.


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Should we be concerned about viruses on our smartphones?
by prash6986 / January 28, 2011 6:54 PM PST

Any device that one uses to access the Internet is susceptible to spyware, malware, adware, viruses, and so on. And regarding one's phone being hacked, viruses, spyware, etc. are nothing but pieces of codes written by hackers to gain entry into a suspecting host and infect it, and retrieve vital information about the person. So better safe than sorry!

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by kaustubhjambekar / January 28, 2011 9:07 PM PST

well, i wont be adding anything new, but just reinforcing the notion that as the capabilities of smartfones increase, so will the capabilities of the apps that run on them. as a direct result, they will be able to do more, and in the case of malicious apps, they will be able to do everything a computer virus/trojan/worm can do, only, much more effectively, because a smartfone is better networked.

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Smartphone Antivirus
by nitebmet / January 28, 2011 10:21 PM PST

You didn't state which smartphone you have, I have an Android and AVG has an app free Antivirus app for android, I run a scan once or twice a week.
Greg C.

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It's not a phone, it's a computer that makes calls
by Charleseye / January 29, 2011 2:03 AM PST

If you can connect to the internet with it, you should ALWAYS assume that you can get viruses/malware. A smart phone is a data miner's paradise because people store all of their personal data on them AND they don't have the benefit having more sophisticated securities built in.

Common sense will keep you safe. Don't visit sites that you wouldn't on your computer. Don't download anything from untrusted sources. Don't install apps that ask for permissions they shouldn't need (a wallpaper app accessing "send and receive phone calls" is a good example.) And of course, use virus software but ONLY trusted software with a good reputation. Virus scanners require massive permissions and it would be easy enough to package up malicious software into an app and call it a virus scanner.

Just use your head.

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Should we be concerned about viruses on our smartphones?
by ajtrek / January 29, 2011 3:33 AM PST

The short answer is YES. Any device that has access to the internet, sends/receives emails or has messaging capabilities (MMS/SMS) is open to attack. However, there are other factors involved that must be taken into consideration before pressing the panic button.

Let's consider the two types of phones on the market today which are the Smartphone (high-tech) and the Standard Cell Phone (low-tech). I draw this distinction so that those that use the low-tech devices are not lulled into a false sense of security by thinking they have nothing to be concerned about. Granted the threat risk is lower with the Standard Cell Phone, but it is out there nonetheless. More on this later.

As a disclaimer let me specify that THREATS to Smartphones are not just in the form of viruses. Threats can also be in the form of an electronic device that captures information by tracking the Smartphone signal as a carrier wave and downloading your sensitive information. The one drawback to electronic hacking devices is that they must be within a certain proximity to your device to be effective. However, for the purpose of this discussion Threat will refer to the virus type.

To talk about threats to our mobile devices and how to protect ourselves we first have to understand how the threats are delivered. I term them as Active or Passive.

I consider an Active Threat Delivery to be one that is specific to the Smartphone Operating System (OS) or Platform. The major platforms on the market today listed by popularity are:

iPhone OS


Blackberry (ranked 3rd because it is widely accepted as an business enterprise application but is gaining ground in the mainstream)

Windows Mobile (close tie vs. Blackberry)

Palm OS (webOS)


For obvious reasons a threat designed for a specific platform is a crapshoot which limits the hackers return on investment.

The Passive Threat Delivery is one that is increasingly popular via Internet Websites, Email, Messaging and the ever so popular Downloadable Phone Application. The Passive Threat does not need to be specific to a particular OS (platform) all it needs is "code" that instructs it to look for certain information and transmit it back to the source. Smartphones are rarely in the off mode so data transmission is a virtual constant.

Most of us know how to protect ourselves against Threats that are delivered via the internet; email and messaging?

DO NOT visit unsavory internet sites
DO NOT open anonymous emails or their attachments
DO NOT open or reply to un-solicited messages

The Downloadable Phone Application opens another door for the passive threat. It is the newest and increasingly popular venue that hackers are exploiting.

The Apple App Store by not being "open source" is probably the most secure at this time. This is even more so given Apples stringent guidelines on App submission by App Architects.

Android which is "open source" has a greater potential for vulnerability in the Downloadable Phone App arena. However, in Androids defense Google does push out updates on a regular basis to guard against compromises to its OS and protect consumers from malicious Apps.

The bottom-line here is this - If the App was not developed by the OS Architect (i.e. Apple, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile etc.) any third party App may put your Smartphone at risk.

Other threats to your Smartphone includes Wifi and Bluetooth (BT).

Unprotected WiFi(in coffee shops, airports etc.) should never be used to conduct banking or online purchases where you are entering sensitive data. If you must use WiFi on your Smartphone do it on your own WPA or WPA2 protected home network (I hope you caught my subtle hint).

Bluetooth should be used sparingly especially in open public places. Any device that can discover a BT signal can potentially communicate with your device and send unsolicited messages or do things that could lead to extra fees, data being compromised or corrupted, data stolen in an attack called bluesnarfing, or the device being infected with a virus. In other words turn it off when not in use, if only to reduce the drain on your Smartphone battery.

For those of you using the Standard Cell Phone...

Obviously, they are less susceptible to Web-based threats than Smartphones. However, email and texting open the Standard Cell Phone to the same vulnerabilities as Smartphone. Standard phones that support Java can be susceptible to certain threats as well.

So with the short answer to the question being YES...What can you do to protect yourself?

FIRST AND FOREMOST DO NOT STORE SENSITIVE DATA ON YOUR SMATPHONE OR CONDUCT BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS REQUIRING THE USE OF CREDIT CARDS OR OTHER PRIORITY INFORMATION. If you feel that practicing Safe Smartphone Usage (to protect against Threats) is not enough and you want to have an extra sense of security there are a number of Mobile Phone Security products available.

I highly recommend exploring one of the solutions below. As some have said, if possible try one with a 30 day trial and run frequents scans to see what pops up as a threat? if anything at all.

Avast! PDA Edition
Avira AntiVir Mobile
BitDefender Mobile Security
BullGuard Mobile Antivirus
Dr.Web Mobile Security Suite
F-Secure Mobile Security
Kaspersky Mobile Security
Norton Smartphone Security

Unlike computers viruses and malware threats for SmartPhones have not reached a critical mass - YET! Are they out there...yes they are. For now, I liken the need for a 3rd party program to protect against Smartphone threats to that of buying earthquake insurance in Missouri. Right now, unlike buying good threat protection for a PC (which is a must) purchasing protection for your Smartphone is a matter of personal choice. You have to do what makes you feel comfortable.

By-the-way the biggest security threat to your phone is LOSING IT. Always password-protect your Smartphone or mobile device. A password protected device may discourage the average person who finds it from peeking inside and discovering all your secrets. Apple even has an App that will allow you to remotely WIPE your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad of all data in the event you lose it.

I hope this helps with your decision. BE SAFE!

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Adding to your robust response
by Charleseye / January 30, 2011 2:53 AM PST

To add to the list of security applications available, the Android platform also has Lookout which is a full featured security app. It has virus protection, remote data back-up, remote phone lock and phone locator with "scream." Once you find the location of your lost phone via their website, you can text it and it will emit a loud alarm (scream) so you can pin point it (and draw attention to anyone who may have swiped it.) I believe they've also added remote wipe recently as well.

Another benefit to an application like this one is that it does the work of several applications while only requiring the space of one.

Many good companies have put out tools to help you protect your phone so there's really no good reason for you not to use them.

On a side note. If you're going to use third party virtual keyboards (like I do,) only use them for non-sensitive text input. When you're entering passwords, account numbers etc, switch back to the stock keyboard. On Android you can do this by long-pressing any text box, selecting input method then Android keyboard. Third party keyboards are capable of logging your keystrokes. Most of them don't but it's better to be safe than sorry.

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Very, very good---But
by warpete / January 31, 2011 10:50 AM PST

I think your reply was outstanding, however there is an issue which I'm certain you are aware but neglected to mention. GEOTAGGING. Parents concerned about their Child's security (far more important than the security of an electronic device), should learn as much as they can about geotagging. The simple act of taking a photo can expose a person's exact location. Stalking can become a serious issue. Rather than try to list other methods of geotagging in this reply, I would suggest anyone concerned to Google "geotagging" and you will find a wealth of information. There ARE some apps that will alert you to geotagging and then disable them, but it is far better to learn how to control geotagging yourself.

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Thanks to Charleseye and Warpete
by ajtrek / January 31, 2011 3:04 PM PST

Charleseye makes a good point regarding the use of 3rd party virtual keyboards. The risk you encounter is the same as on a PC which is KEYLOGGING.

Warpete adds another dimension for potential security breach of your Smartphone when using GEOTAGGING. The actual threat is known as CYBERCASING. Also, as Warpete said this type of threat has other implications that you may want to investigate.

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thank you
by vagrantuk / February 4, 2011 4:58 PM PST

a very good and informative post. Thanks very much for taking the time to compose and write it

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I Assume You Mean...
by Flatworm / February 4, 2011 10:09 PM PST

You wrote, "For now, I liken the need for a 3rd party program to protect against Smartphone threats to that of buying earthquake insurance in Missouri."

Because possibly the most powerful earthquake (actually a series of three earthquakes, with nearly a THOUSAND very strong aftershocks) ever to hit the United States centered in New Madrid, Missouri between December 16, 1811 and February 7, 1812, and archaeological records and geological research indicate that the fault there, the "Reelfoot Fault," may be due for another break in the fairly near-term future, it can be inferred that you are urging others to protect their smartphones with third-party anti-malware apps, and that your recommendation carries some degree of urgency.

And I agree. You may add to your list of third-party clients AVG's free anti-malware app, which seems to work well and is available from the App Store.

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Good Catch - Flatworm
by ajtrek / February 5, 2011 6:11 AM PST
In reply to: I Assume You Mean...

Although I wasn't as well versed as you on the exact dates of the occurrences...I do know that earthquakes have been recorded in Missouri. You're also right in your analogy that while earthquakes in Missouri are not as likely as those along the San Andreas Fault the potential still exists. So for a modest cost Missouri residents can add an earthquake rider to their home owners insurance policy for pennies on the dollar compared to California residents. The same is true (at this time) for anti-virus protection software for Smartphones versus that for a PC. However, in the final analysis everyone must do what makes them feel comfortable in light of the fact that Active Viruses targeted for smart phones are not at critical of 02/05/2011. But any day now...who knows?????

Be Safe!!

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Not paranoid Bad guys are real and your data is never safe!
by ffixxer / January 29, 2011 5:09 AM PST

The Bad guys are real and your data is never safe! You can make it hard for them but stopping them from "reading your data" is near impossible on a public wireless network. You need to make them look elsewhere by using good security and software to protect your data. Even the cash register that probably is using wireless to transmitting your credit card info is NOT safe unless properly configured. This issue was discussed at length sometime ago because hotels and stores were the source of many CC numbers and fraudulent charges on those accounts.

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Smartphones can get viruses - but it's very complicated.
by darrenforster99 / January 29, 2011 4:02 PM PST

You are quite right that smartphones can indeed be infected with viruses and other forms of malware.

This has been a major concern for a few phone manufacturers and phone companies for many years.

"Hutchinson 3" virtually killed the Motorola A920 when it was first launched as they were really concerned that their network could be brought down if somebody created a virus for Symbian and spread it through the A920's (so they turned off all the useful features, like Bluetooth, GPS, etc), later they realised they'd gone over kill and released a patch to unlock the features.

One of the biggest problems though you have with creating a virus for a mobile phone is the amount of different OS's available for phones.

To write a virus for a phone you would need to write a different code for each phone it's likely to encounter to ensure it would run, as many different phones have different OS's, here are a few - Symbian (mainly found on Nokia's), iPhone OS (Apple), Windows Mobile (various versions) (HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson), and Android (various versions) (HTC, Motorola, Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson).

They are just the major ones there are also a variety of other ones (like some Samsung smartphones use Samsung's version of Linux as an OS). Also even though some are running the same OS, the OS's are tweaked for that specific phone as well, so something that runs on a Sony Ericcson X1, might not work fully with a HTC HD, even though they are both running Windows Mobile 6.1, and an HD2 would be a totally different ball game as that is running Windows Mobile 6.5 (unless it's a hacked one running Windows Mobile 7.0 or even Android!)

So on a phone it's not quite as easy to write a virus as it is for a Windows PC, also the reason why Windows is targeted far more than other OS's for viruses - there are far more Windows users out there than other OS's like Linux, Unix, or Mac OS, so by putting a virus out for Windows you cover quite a large base of users.

However with phones not one smartphone OS actually has a big enough share, the iPhone OS is getting pretty close, plus you also have security in the OS.

Windows OS is quite easily targeted by virus creators due to it's lack of security, it makes itself easy for the end user to use but obviously by making it easy to use it opens up various security holes, thus allowing viruses to enter.

Apple are really restrictive on what you can and can't do in their iPhone OS, which whilst annoying some power users on this, it does protect the end user from accidentally installing a virus, this includes things like restricting Codecs the phone can use, no Flash, and various other methods to keep the end user safe.

And finally one other thing that you will note about most smartphones, unlike computers if they do get a virus, most smartphones come with a handy "reset" button somewhere that resets the OS to how it was when it left the factory, whilst keeping all other data, like pictures and music safe (or most smartphones also sync the settings to a PC, so if they go wrong you can always reset and sync the smartphone the other way to get all your data back), so even if you were to get a virus on your smartphone you can always just reset it, unlike PC's where in the case of some severe viruses you have to backup and wipe everything.

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nice one
by vagrantuk / February 4, 2011 4:53 PM PST

Thanks for the post. Well written and succinctly put.

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Viruses on smartphones
by perpetualv / January 29, 2011 11:05 PM PST

David - as with anything the answer is, "it depends". Smartphones are basically low-powered computers. If you connect to mobile data services or wifi then there is a chance you can download malware or a virus. If you use your phone to access mobile banking services or if you store sensitive data on your phone (for example, your contact list) then your data is at risk and you should be concerned about the potential it will be compromised.

Depending on what type of smartphone you have there are several different ways to protect yourself. Check your phone's marketplace application for options.

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Smartphone security...
by John.Wilkinson / January 30, 2011 2:10 AM PST


That is an excellent question that is often overlooked due to the presumption that phones are not the same as computers in the need for security protection. In some ways, that is an accurate presumption, but still critically flawed.

Should we all be concerned with viruses, spyware, and other malware that can hurt our devices or tap into our phone data to steal private data from it?
Absolutely. Your computer likely contains private files, emails, and contact information, and you probably enter private information, such as account numbers, on commerce websites. Your smartphone, on the other hand, also contains a complete call log, copies of voice mails, even more extensive contact details, always-on voice/data connections, and no security software. That makes it a gold mine for would-be hackers and data thieves.

What's the chances of my smartphone infected by a virus or even someone hacking into it that could really mess it up?
That's currently the mitigating factor: a relatively lacking arsenal of malware for smartphones. Much like Mac OS X, iPhones, Android phones, Windows phones, et cetera are relatively safe as they have not been the focus of attacks against users, but there are still existing threats and the potential for a surge in attacks is great.

Are there already virus protection available for smartphones?
Yes. There is a wide range of options available for nearly every smartphone operating system, ranging from paid McAfee subscriptions down to free alternatives like SmrtGuard, which are often operating system-specific.

Am I just being a bit too paranoid to something that is a non-issue?
Absolutely not. A report last year showed that 20% of all Android applications, for instance, allow a third-party to access personal information on your phone, and 5% can make phone calls without your intervention. One of the first malware examples for Android made headlines in August as it was hidden in a media player and racked up hundreds of dollars (per victim) in premium SMS fees, which were paid to the creator of the trojan.

The iPhone is generally considered the most secure smartphone, in part because Apple pre-screens all applications before offering them for download, and thus the threats are far lower. However, it has seen low-impact attacks such as crashing when viewing a malicious website back in 2007. If you jailbreak your iPhone, though, you are at even greater risk than Android users because 1.) you lose the Apple screening process, perhaps the strongest security precaution Apple offers and 2.) the iPhone does not detail the permissions being granted to an application during installation, a security feature that Android offers. Thus, jailbroken iPhones are susceptible to high-risk, high-impact threats, such as a worm that steals your data and gives the attacker complete remote control of your iPhone.

Bottom line:
The bottom line is that you need to remain vigilant regarding who you let use your smartphone, which applications you download/install, and looking for oddities regarding your call/SMS/internet logs. And adding third-party security software, including both a firewall and antivirus/anti-spyware protection, should be a serious consideration regardless of which operating system you use, but especially if you use anything except a non-jailbroken iPhone.

Hope this helps,

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by edtrain / February 4, 2011 12:48 PM PST
In reply to: Smartphone security...

Many thanks for your EXCELLENT reply.
You answered David's questions and added a few points of your own. I appreciate a balanced, well organized reply (or question, for that matter.).

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Could just be my weird take on it, but here goes ...
by d_adams / February 4, 2011 9:04 AM PST

I'm not worried in the slightest about my phone's security. First, I know how to use the web and how (not) to run into viruses. Then, I primarily use the web via apps, all of which are screened by Apple before being allowed in the App Store (this one won't apply to the Android Market where there's no telling what you'll get). And lastly, if anything did ever go wrong I'd just wipe the phone clean with a complete reset.

I know I'm leaving some stuff up to chance, but I prefer to take the (slight) risk than have to mess with antivirus software.

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There's no telling what you'll get?
by Charleseye / February 6, 2011 3:08 AM PST

I'm not trying to start a "who's better" phone battle so please don't take it that way. I'm merely trying to clarify a point.

Above you said that "there's no telling what you'll get" on Android's Market. This couldn't be further from the truth. Before you can download ANY app from the Market, you have to agree to give that app permission to access all of the different areas of your device it wants to access. This is laid out in a clear list so you can see if a driving game app wants to be able to access your contacts or send/receive texts. If you see an app that requires rediculous permissions or you're someone who doesn't bother looking at the permissions, chances are that you're going to get malware. Regardless of whether or not Google ever starts screening apps, I'm glad to have this feature. I trust my judgement more than some annonymous app screener in an office somewhere.

The point is, protect YOURSELF, no matter what platform you're on. Don't hope that others are doing a good enough job of doing it for you.

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by d_adams / February 7, 2011 1:07 AM PST

Well, that was kind of my point. There's no telling what you'll get, because Google allows anything in the store. Don't kid yourself: people are stupid and I seriously doubt very many pay any attention to permissions. Most people don't have a clue what that even means, so they just agree to whatever. The only thing we can do is educate everyone we know so they don't just hit enter and end up with a bunch of crap on their phone. If I were in charge of the Android store, I'd at least make sure every app was checked for malicious content, but apparently Google doesn't think it's necessary.

For myself, I don't really care if a virus gets through the nets. I'll just wipe my phone clean. Anti-virus software is kind of like an expensive insurance plan. You pay a lot (in this case with your time and patience) for something that is probably never going to happen. I just stick with liability, aka Apple screening: they haven't failed me yet in four years of use and I don't even have to think about it.

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Not only that...
by JCitizen / February 7, 2011 3:41 AM PST
In reply to: reply

But Apple vets the code to make sure they don't have vulnerabilities that would compromise the phone OS. Now it still occasionally happens, but the risk is less, unless you jail break the iPhone, and then all bets are off.

The Android community is probably fairly well vetted if the app is open source, but there is more and more of the proprietary stuff getting on the market, and some of that crapware is not getting the scrutiny some of the open source is.

I'm not a fanboy of any smart phone OS, so don't get me wrong.

I'd probably prefer an HTC, but I haven't decided on who I want for a carrier; my pay-as-you-go phone from the old Alltel is staying in my pocket for now.

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That's where the real problem lies
by Charleseye / February 7, 2011 8:22 AM PST
In reply to: reply

I think that's probably why I do lean towards the open platforms. We are further along technologically than we've ever been and moving forward at a rapid rate and yet your average person is completely lost when it comes to using such technology. Things like the Android Market hold people accountable for their own actions. If you CHOOSE to ignore the warnings or not to find out what they mean (a quick Google search sheds all the light you'll need) before installing something on a device that arguably carries some of your most private data, then you've earned the headaches you've caused yourself.

It's about time for people to stop thinking someone else will just protect their interests for them. More importantly, it's time for people to stop blaming others when they make bad decisions. "Google didn't protect me from this malicious app!" You're 35 years old with life experience and a Google search bar on your browser, you downloaded a flatulation app that requires full access to all your personal information, internet access and services that cost you money (send/receive texts.) If this even remotely describes your situation, you have nobody to blame but yourself. You have officially done your part to move the human race backwards a step. Please for the love of God, do not breed. We don't need any more of you, we have too many as it is. If, on the other hand, you are fully capable understanding that your actions are your own and can deal with basic school-level tasks like looking up words you don't understand, then to you I say: Come, join the club. We're a small group but we have jackets.

I support the Android Market's way of doing things because if such a style becomes dominant, people will finally have to grow up and become adults about technology. If you invite a stranger into your house and they rob you, it's your fault. If you live in a gated community and you let a stranger into your house and they rob you, it's still your fault. If you blame the security guard, you may make yourself feel better but at the end of the day you're the one who let the guy get past your front door.

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by d_adams / February 15, 2011 5:39 AM PST

I think it is the responsibility of a company to support their products and services. It is in the interest of both Google and their customers to provide some form of screening against malicious software. This isn't about whether people are stupid and deserve punishment or not. It's about providing the best end product.

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CNET Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for great gifts under $100?

Trendy tech gifts don't require a hefty price tag. Choose from these CNET-recommended useful and high-quality gadgets.