Your phone is a technological marvel that you rely on every day. Do you know how to keep your device clean and safe from viruses? Your phone is an extension of you, so it’s important that you take care of it properly to avoid any damage or harm.
Viruses can be sneaky and they will find a way into your phone if you aren’t careful. By keeping your device clean and free of germs, you are protecting yourself from potential health problems like the flu and other minor illnesses.
Even if you don’t keep your phone in close contact with others as much as possible, there are still risks involved that your phone cannot eliminate completely.
Everyone has that friend who seems to always have their phone with them and doesn’t seem to understand the value of locking it away when it isn’t in use. Or, you may know that person who can’t seem to keep their phone clean from viruses or other digital parasites.
Anybody who spends as much time on their phone as these users does is bound to accumulate a few detritus over time. Keeping your phone clean from viruses helps protect you, your contacts, and your friends from nasty lurking software.
1. Check Before You Pack
The first thing you can do to make sure your phone is clean from viruses is to make sure the software that is on your phone is up to date. New viruses are born everyday, and if your phone has an old version of software on it, a virus could take advantage of that.
Before you go on a trip where you’ll be away from Wi-Fi or other means of charging your phone, you should update your software. This way, if you run low on battery while out and about, you’ll be able to update your software while you’re out and about.
You can also do this while you’re at work or at home, when you have a bit more time on your hands. Another thing you can do is backup your phone. This means that you have a copy of all of your data stored somewhere else, so if your phone gets destroyed, you don’t lose all of your information.
2. Don’t Use Public Computers
This may seem like a no-brainer, but the reality is, a lot of people do use public computers. This isn’t just people who are on the computer for a few minutes and then need to use it for something else. You might, for example, be in a coffee shop or at a library, and see a computer where nobody is using it.
You might think to yourself, “Hey, I’d love to use this computer.” And then you might do just that. But you might not think about the fact that these computers are likely to have unpatched software on them or that anyone could be using them right now.
Not only can you risk getting a virus on a computer that has unpatched software on it, you can also risk accessing inappropriate content, sharing your computer with other people who shouldn’t have access to your computer, or causing a security breach if the computer you’re on is in a business with confidential data on it.
3. Stay Away From Strangers
You should also avoid allowing people you don’t know have access to your phone. This could be a family member, friend, or your partner. But, it could also be someone who you just met.
What happens is that when you let a stranger have access to your phone, they could potentially steal your data (and there are laws in place to prevent people from accessing your data without permission).
They could copy your contacts, download apps without your permission, or even take screenshots of your phone. And, since it is difficult to determine who has had access to your phone, you can’t be 100% sure.
4. Avoid Downloading From Untrusted Sources
Finally, you should avoid downloading apps from sources you don’t trust. The best way to do this is to simply not download apps from websites you don’t trust. This means that if you’re browsing the internet on a computer that isn’t yours, you shouldn’t be downloading anything.
Your best bet is to just use the computer that you have at home or work. You should also be wary of links you find in emails. While it is easy to click a link, it is also easy to accidentally copy and paste it into a text or, even worse, send it as an actual email. This link should be to a page that you trust and that is safe to load on your phone.
5. Keep Your Email Account Clean
Finally, the best way to keep your phone clean from viruses is to keep your email account clean. This means that you should regularly clear your inbox and delete messages that you aren’t sure you want to keep. This will ensure that you don’t keep any viruses in your inbox that could infect your phone.
6. Copying and Pasting Virus-Safe Content
When copying and pasting content to and from your phone, you should make sure that you only copy and paste safe content. This means that if you’re copying something from a webpage and pasting it into a text, you should make sure that the content you copy isn’t dangerous.
You should also make sure that, when pasting content from your phone to a computer, you only paste safe content. This means that if you’re copying content from your phone and pasting it into a text or document, you should make sure that what you’re copying isn’t a virus.
Ways Virus Can Infect Your Phone
Viruses can infect your phone in one of two ways:
The virus is able to copy itself onto your phone’s hard drive. This can happen when you copy yourself some text or images, when you download apps that copy themselves onto your phone, or when you take a screenshot of your phone and someone copies it and pastes it into their computer.
A virus is able to take advantage of weaknesses in your phone’s software and infect your phone’s operating system. This can happen when you visit a webpage that contains malicious code, when you download apps that have been altered to “backdoor” your phone’s software, or when you click a link in an email and the link sends you to a website that loads code on your phone.
Whether your phone has been infected by a virus or simply needs a good scrubbing, cleaning your phone from viruses will make it easier to find and use new apps, text friends and family back, and stay connected. Keeping your phone clean from viruses can also keep you safer by keeping your data and software more secure.
While there are some risks in allowing people you don’t know have access to your phone, it can help to avoid the risk of damaging your phone and having to buy a new one if someone messes it up. This can be a difficult situation to deal with, especially if you don’t have insurance to help cover the cost.