Elternguide Logo

Virus scanner – also for the smartphone?

2 minutes reading time
6-17 years
Foto: pexels.com/Engin Akyurt

Those who have a computer usually also use an anti-virus program. After all, there is a constant threat of danger via the Internet, such as spam e-mails or fake sweepstakes. But is it also important for smartphones to install an antivirus program? How useful this is for Android and iOS phones and what protection virus scanner apps offer is the subject of this article.

What are virus scanners?

A virus scanner detects viruses and malware (malicious and software) and removes them before they can harm the device. To do this, the virus scanner uses profiles to check whether there is already known malware on the device. In addition, the virus scanner analyzes all apps and processes. If it detects suspicious behavior, it banishes the affected app to a quarantine area where it cannot cause any harm.

Better protect Android devices

Android from Google is one of the most widely used operating systems in the world. That is why Android devices are a popular target of hack attacks. The Google Play Store checks most apps, but malicious apps can still be found for download. Even the preinstalled anti-virus program Google Play Protectdoes not provide one hundred percent protection. Those who do not make regular software updates or come into contact with malicious software run the risk of catching a virus.

Manufacturers of well-known antivirus programs for the PC, such as Avast, Avira, McAfee or Norton, offer antivirus apps for Android devices with different offerings. There are both free and paid antivirus scanners for Android. Some with advertising and some without. Some apps offer only the most important features, such as a malware scanner or secure browsing. Other apps also offer services like the Call Blocker to block unwanted calls or a VPN connection for anonymous surfing. These additional features are often available as paid in-app purchases. Current test results of popular Android virus scanners can be found on the website of AV Test .

iOS devices are well protected

Those who use an iOS smartphone from Apple do not need an antivirus scanner app. Apple has stronger security mechanisms than Android . Since the distribution of the operating system is low, the attack is hardly worthwhile for criminals. The only way to download apps is via the Apple App Store. Apple itself pre-screens all apps from the store. There are almost no antivirus scanner apps in the App Store. The operating system is built in such a way that apps cannot access other apps. However, Apple users are not protected against phishing emails, chain letters and other scams. Therefore, it is important to perform regular software updates. In addition to vigilance, it can also make sense to install a protection app with features such as WLAN scanners, phishing warnings or an anti-theft function.

Trust is good, control is better

When children and young people get their first smartphone, it should be as safe as possible. This also includes protection against viruses. But be careful: no virus scanner can replace a critical approach to e-mails, apps and the like. Find out how you can make your child’s smartphone safer. Talk to your child about careful use of personal data and passwords. Explain to your child how to recognize scam traps online, download apps only from approved stores, and check app permissions.

If you decide to use an antivirus app: install the app together and go through the app settings with your child. Make it clear to your child that no technology is seamless and that he or she must continue to be vigilant when connected to the Internet via smartphone.

Linked topics

Project partners