Keeping your phone and computer virus-free has taken on a new meaning this year. But it’s not just the antibacterial wipes you need to keep on hand. What about the harmful bugs inside your device? Malware protection is a strong tool against harmful intruders, but there are several precautionary steps you can personally take to keep your devices safe. As you navigate work and life during quarantine, cover both bases with these expert phone and computer virus protection tips.
Debates have flown back and forth about how long COVID-19 can survive on your phone or computer. But anywhere from a few hours to a few days is a safe bet. Keeping anti-bacterial wipes on hand to clean any case you use is important. For smartphones, most cell phone manufacturers warn against using any type of liquid or moisture on your devices.
However, Apple actually recommends using a clean microfiber cloth dampened with a safe amount of moisture – a combo of 70% isopropyl alcohol and distilled water. Make sure you only dampen your cloth with this dilution; too much on or around portholes and other openings poses serious risk to your device. And as safe or convenient as they may seem, be sure to avoid using either towels or paper towels; such abrasive surfaces can certainly damage your phone or laptop.
Keeping your phone free of technological “disease” also requires special attention and care. First, though, it’s helpful to understand a few key terms in the industry. Malware broadly defines any harmful software, while viruses are a specific type of malware that duplicates itself on to your smartphone, laptop, or tablet. Let’s look at a few risky moves that make your phone or PC vulnerable.
Downloading multiple apps, changing various settings, and visiting unknown websites certainly puts any device at risk. You’ll want to make sure you always download your apps from secure locations, such as the Apple Store for iPhone and MacBook users, or the Google Play Store for Android users. And although Google does allow app downloads from non authorized groups, Android phones have a default setting that disables app downloads from anyone other than the official Google Play store. Make sure you keep this setting turned on!
A few other good antivirus habits include backing up your device and regularly updating your OS (operating system). Consistently backing up your computer or phone secures its information against future virus or spyware attacks. Another good rule of thumb is to avoid downloading SMS and email attachments. A linked recipe from Mom might be safe, but many viruses and harmful websites hide out in these attachments.
Additionally, consider investing in a higher quality Wifi network at home, and avoid using other unknown (and generally, more public) networks elsewhere. While an afternoon at Starbucks working on a project sounds nice, using such an open network does come with risks. To prevent such dangers, consider having a firewall installed. This system operates on set rules and regulations to let in only the information that you allow. This anti-malware software is a proven way to keep out hackers and viruses.
In the unfortunate case that you do run into problems, don’t worry – Phix Smart is just around the corner and ready to help out when you feel stuck. Our technicians follow consistent and careful COVID safety guidelines, so we’ll keep your phone safe – inside and out. If you need help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.