Antivirus Software for Your Phone: Necessary or Not

In recent months Antivirus software has failed to recognize and contain some huge malware attacks. This has caused it to take a beating in the media.

Antivirus Not Necessary on Smartphones?

There has also been a realization recently that people who do nearly all of their computing via smartphone most likely don’t need Antivirus software. A lot of people check their emails, social media accounts, and surf the web with their smartphones. If the antivirus industry doesn’t build software that is useful to these folks, they are missing out on an invaluable market.

Smartphones vs. PCs

First, modern smartphones operate differently than traditional PCs and laptops. On a smartphone, each app receives its own work environment and is not able to access the data found in other apps. This is really a nice security upgrade from the world of PCs and laptops. Malware that is just installed onto a smartphone will be able to do little harm. So there is the first strike against traditional antivirus software: there’s not as much need for it on a smartphone.

Another reason the separation of apps makes antivirus software less useful on smartphones is that current software cannot scan each and every app. Because of this, current antivirus software does little to fight the malware that can attack smartphones.

Smartphone Antivirus Programs

We have touched on a couple reasons why the antivirus software that is currently available is not very efficient for smartphones. But that doesn’t stop companies from selling it. VirusBarrier is a good example of this. It can be purchased through Apple’s App Store, but it can’t actually scan anything on a smartphone. Users have to send any attachments or documents they want scanned for viruses through VirusBarrier before downloading it from their email client. This can be both frustrating and almost useless for consumers. Until companies start developing more complex antivirus software that is able to actually scan apps on smartphones, there is little reason to purchase antivirus software for your smartphone.

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Posted on: 07.25.12