Technology is synonymous with viruses, unfortunately, and just like home computers, our smartphones aren’t totally immune from the undesirable creatures that lurk in the digital jungle. In many regards, in fact, our cell phones now function like small PCs: They’re remarkably convenient, they’re capable little machines, and you need to protect them from viruses and malware. Luckily, there several of the best smartphone anti-virus programs are free, and will work hard to keep your handset safe.
Note that for iOS mobile device users, you have less to worry about if you have an iPhone (or an iPad, or any iOS device from Apple) that’s not jailbroken. Apple keeps tight restrictions on what becomes available for download in its App Store, which means that worms, malware, viruses and Trojans aren’t as likely to slip through. The situation is different if your phone is jailbroken (meaning the iOS device has been modified to allow for greater user control, including introducing installation alternatives that let you download application without visiting the App Store). Jailbroken iOS hardware is more susceptible to viruses.
You will definitely want to consider a mobile phone antivirus software program if your phone is an Android model too. Though Google makes efforts to keep viruses and malware out of Google Play (formerly the Android Marketplace), Android app developers have far fewer restrictions on what they can develop and upload to the marketplace. On one hand, this allows developers to exercise more creative freedom than what’s possible on the App Store. On the other hand, this makes it easier for troublemakers to do their thing. Though Google’s “Bouncer” service automatically scans Google Play for viruses, it’s not foolproof, so if you own an Android phone, you should still be vigilant.
There are several free ways you can protect your mobile phone from viruses and malware:
Avast! Free Mobile Security – Avast!’s free browser anti-virus is a popular name in computer protection, and that favorable reputation extends to its mobile anti-virus offering as well. Avast!’s mobile security provides protection against malicious downloads, and users can also install anti-theft features, a web shield, and take advantage of a privacy report.
IKARUS Mobile Security Lite – IKARUS Lite provides free and thorough protection against mobile viruses, spyware, malware, and Trojans. Moreover, it’s resource efficient (so it won’t bog down your phone), and its interface is user-friendly.
Lookout Mobile Security – Lookout’s free security protects you from malicious software, and it also provides features that let you secure your device and manage/back up your data using the web. Furthermore, you can utilize Lookout to help you find your phone if its lost, and/or remotely wipe out data if the worst happens.
Kaspersky Mobile Security – Kaspersky provides free virus scan and free malware removal tools for Android, Blackberry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile phones. For ease of use, you can search for your phone’s model on the Kaspersky website.
Dr. Web Mobile Security Suite – You can trust a doctor, right? Dr. Web is light, user-friendly, and will even protect your phone against unknown threats. You can also use the program to protect against unwanted incoming calls. Dr. Web Mobile Security Suite is available for Android, Symbian, and Windows Mobile.
For more information on how to protect your smartphone from viruses, visit:
What’s the Best Android Anti-Virus? on PCAdvisor
Technology for parents & kids: Hints, tips, online safety strategies & more.
Connected as today’s kids have become, thanks to the rise of smartphones, tablet PCs, learning devices and other technology tools, it’s vital that parents teach children safe computing habits and digital citizenship basics. But what’s a busy caregiver to do when they can barely turn on the VCR, let alone keep up with “Generation Tech,” for whom Internet-ready handhelds, video game systems and portable media players are second nature? The following video, courtesy of our friends at GalTime, offers expert hints and advice on keeping up with technology and kids, including a number of must-see digital parenting tips.
Looking for more insights and strategies for digital parenting and juggling kids’ technology, online and social media needs? You can also check out our bestselling The Modern Parent’s Guide series of high-tech parenting books, free to download at ParentsGuideBooks.com, and on Sony Reader, Kindle and Nook.
For a parent, the Internet is as much of a wonder as it is terrifying. For the first time in human history, our kids have access to a limitless, free store of knowledge, but there are also dark corners teeming with predators. When the worst happens, the story blazes across every news site, and we’re suddenly terrified for our own charges. That’s why it’s so important to familiarize ourselves with the best online safety resources for parents. Even though we occasionally hear wretched stories about children being harassed, victimized, and bullied while online, barring the younger generation from the Internet isn’t an option. A child needs to learn how to navigate the online world for purposes relating to education, communication, and eventually, employment.
Much as we educate our kids not to take candy from strangers, we need to consult online safety resources for parents and work to ensure that our children have safe places to work and play while they’re on the web. Face-to-face communication is important, too: Talk to your kids about online safety, answer any questions they have, and assure them that they can always come to you with more questions and concerns. If you’re looking for online safety resources that can help, consider these ten a great starting point:
WiredSafety – WiredSafety is a good online safety resource for both parents and kids. The site keeps up to date with the latest news on online safety legislation, and offers common sense stories and tips across every aspect of online life, including friendships, security, and relationships. There’s also advice for kids about how they should deal with online arguments and bullying.
Get Netwise – Get Netwise is an easy-to-navigate website that boasts a big library of video tutorials. Some tutorials include tips on how to filter search engine results, while others offer in-depth looks at online security programs.
Google’s Family Safety Center – Not surprisingly, Google features a portal to a variety of tools that parents and teachers can use to help kids navigate the Internet safely. You can use the Family Safety Center to control YouTube and Search content, report abuse, and watch video tips from other parents.
NetSmartz – NetSmartz is run by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Its colorful tips and characters should hold special appeal to young visitors. Kids can even access, print, and read free eBooks that use metaphors to describe the hazards of giving away information to online advertisers.
StaySafeOnline – StaySafeOnline by the National Cyber Security Alliance emphasizes the importance of online security, especially when using social networks like Facebook and Google+. The site also provides parents with advice for keeping an eye on kids who love online gaming.
For more online safety resources for parents, check out:
Also be sure to see our own The Modern Parent’s Guide series of high-tech parenting books (a free download) as well.
[Image source: Digital Mom Blog]