We download more apps and software to our devices than ever before. In 2017 alone, 178 billion apps were downloaded worldwide.

What most people don’t realize is that with every download comes a security risk. The risk is slight, but new malware is being created for mobile devices as more apps go out.

Once your device is infected with malware, the consequences can be harsh and swift. An expert IT tech like ours at Alt-Tech will be able to remove malware with a special removal tool – even high-risk banking malware – but it’s better to prevent and avoid these risks in the first place.


What is malware?

The name “malware” comes from the full term “malicious software.” This type of software was coded with the intent to “infect” and damage other devices, steal data, interrupt networks, or cause harm in general.

You’ll often hear words like “viruses and worms” to describe how malware works. In fact, viruses and worms are just two types of malware. There are also Trojans (think Trojan horse invasion), spyware, and ransomware.


1. Check your app’s download source

Your chances of inviting a computer virus in can increase or decrease depending on where you download apps. In general, it’s safer to use an app store that checks for malware, instead of downloading an app directly from a website.

In 2017, the chances of downloading a PHA (potentially harmful app) to your android phone or iPhone from the Google Play Store were 0.02%. That’s very low.

Before downloading from a new source, check their policies and processes, look for legitimate software you’re familiar with on their platform, and check for user reviews.


2. Don’t open risky websites, links, or pop-ups

Malware doesn’t just come from downloading malicious apps or software. You can also unknowingly allow malicious code into your operating system by opening an infected website, email link, or pop-up. Avoid clicking links that look suspicious or come from an unknown source. Keep an eye out for security warnings from your computer or anti-virus software.


3. Create limitations in your user account

One of the easiest ways to prevent downloads from occurring without your consent is to restrict them. Some people like to use non-administrator accounts for their day-to-day web browsing and emailing. These accounts have been preset to restrict downloads, which means malware doesn’t have an opportunity to get in. When software does need to be downloaded, you can easily switch to an administrator account.


4. Hire a Managed Service Provider for your IT solutions

If you’re worried about malware impacting your mobile security and threatening your data and devices, you can bring an experienced consultant on board. These IT professionals will show you how to detect malware, help you avoid it, and create a disaster recovery plan in case a malware attack does happen.


5. Use a strong anti-virus software

The most malicious aspect of malware is that it’s hard to detect. Once it has infected your computer, Android device, iPhone, or tablet, the only way you’ll know is from symptoms like data loss, slow operating systems, and other annoying and threatening incidents. That is, unless you have an anti-virus software working in the background to constantly scan your computer and prevent and protect from malware.

At Alt-Tech Inc., we use stronger software than your typical “off-the-shelf” anti-virus software. We can configure it to suit your specific needs on any device and across networks. It offers real-time protection so you don’t have to worry about viruses in your day-to-day.


What’s in your security plan?


If you’ve had a security threat in your business before, you know how scary it can be. At Alt-Tech, our IT help desk in Edmonton is here to offer full support to clients when they have questions about their security or when threats arise. Consult with us today to learn how you can create a full virus and malware prevention plan and a backup and disaster recovery plan.