Your smartphone isn’t just a phone. It’s a full-fledged computer with an incredibly powerful operating system running it. That means it absolutely needs to have some form of protection on it, just like any other computer. This also applies to other mobile devices, such as tablets, laptops, and other internet-connected devices.
Now that you know you should consider it a necessity, here are the things you should look for when choosing an antivirus or internet security program for your mobile device.
1. Antivirus & Malware Protection
Of course, the key feature of antivirus and security software is the software’s ability to detect, block, and remove malware from your device. Keep in mind that malware is an umbrella term that includes any harmful code or software, viruses included. So don’t feel confused when you see anti-malware as opposed to antivirus.
2. Website Security Features
A good mobile security solution will help you make better decisions when you’re on the internet with your mobile device. For example, the software may block your access from websites with known malware or other deleterious behaviors.
These features often allow you to filter websites by content as well, so if there’s something you just don’t want to see showing up on your screen, the software will do its best to make it so. This can become especially beneficial if you allow others, such as your children, to use your device.
3. Privacy Protection Features
Have you noticed just how many apps want to have an absurdly large number of permissions just to run? Those permissions can include requests for things like your name, contact information, and possibly other personal details. This includes all those same details from all your contacts and a variety of other things you probably don’t want a random application to have constant access to.
Mobile devices have done a good job of warning people about what permissions applications are asking for. They don’t always let you know what permissions the OS and its associated apps are taking advantage of.
Some mobile security software will look for permissions and the other things that apps grab from your device that might contain personal information. The software can alert you when permissions change.
Privacy protection can also mean protecting you from spam calls, unsolicited advertisements in your messages, and anything from disreputable sources. In addition, the software will typically give you fine control over your privacy so you can set your own parameters for privacy on your device.
4. Antitheft Features
If you lose or misplace your device or someone steals it, a mobile security feature that allows you to track and locate your device remotely would be an ideal solution. Many mobile security solutions include such features, and you would do well to give thought to such a solution for your device.
5. Remote Reset, Wipe, or Lock Features
Besides the ability to track the location of your device, some mobile security software will also allow you to do a remote wipe of the device. This can clear off any personal data and keep it out of the hands of those that would use it for criminal activity.
Some devices come with a remote wipe feature built in. If you have such a feature on your device, you may not need it with your mobile security software. However, pay attention to how the remote wipe works.
Some methods overwrite data, while others will fully delete everything on the device. If you don’t have a backup, this process may not leave you with anything to recover should you get your device back.
Some software and devices give you the option to reset the device back to the factory or to lock the device so that it’s inaccessible to anyone else. Once again, you may find these features built into the OS. Many modern devices do have security features, but they’re not always obvious.
6. Firewall Features
A firewall is important for any online activity. It helps to keep things off your device that you wouldn’t want to let in. This can include connections to networks you didn’t initiate or someone trying to access your device without you knowing or giving permission.
In addition, a firewall can help keep something on your phone from trying to establish a connection without your knowledge or approval. Firewalls will typically allow you to add rules and blocklists so that you’re in control of what apps can send out information and what IPs can connect to your device.
Your mobile security solution doesn’t need to have every feature, just the features that make the most sense for your needs. Still, always look for the most robust solution, not the one that will only provide you with the bare minimum feature set. A premium security solution will offer you a lot more and will typically cover all your devices. If your mobile device has importance to your life, work, or creativity, then you should definitely keep it protected.