Cell Phone Virus Protection and Awareness

A Cell Phone Virus??? Is it really possible? Yes, it is. Think of your cell phone in the same terms as you think of your computer. If your cell phone has the Internet in it and can browse the web and open email attachments and sync with your Outlook and on and on, it really isn't much different is it? While it is not often 'publicized' it is definitely more on the rise as more everyday consumers are starting to migrate into the smartphone and PDA marketplace.

It was in the latter part of 2004 when the first cell phone virus was discovered named: "Cabir". It got into a few Bluetooth handhelds, which at that time were definitely not as popular nor as common as they are today, so needless to say it wasn't widespread news because it didn't pose a great public risk. As time passed, the phones that seemed to be affected most were phones that had what they called the Symbian Operating Software system. Every cell phone like every computer essentially has an Operating System, same as if you have Windows on your PC or Mac OS X on your Mac. A lot of Nokia phones use the Symbian OS and so this is why a larger percentage of their handhelds were prone to cell phone virus attacks, but remember, 'larger percentage' is relative as the number of viruses is still quite small in relationship to the billions of them out there on the market.

So exactly how does one get a cell phone virus? Well much like the same as you get a virus on your computer. From opening email attachment and .MMS files that you don't recognize.

Looking at too much porn, lol. But seriously this happens as well.

Leaving Bluetooth setting open and "discoverable". I know in certain countries where it is forbidden for men and women to speak and congregate and flirt in public places, they have to keep the Bluetooth setting open if they want to be 'discovered' so they can chat, but for the rest of the world, zip it, lock it and throw the key out the window, ok? Keeping your bluetooth setting discoverable, keeps your phone discoverable and susceptible to cell phone viruses, unwanted virtual dialgoue and garbage in general.

Where the Vertical Axis Meet, Generation X and Y, cell phone crazy over the top, out of control with your downloading every f.ree game, ringtone, wallpaper, theme that you get from public sites and file sharing. No, no, no, that is a cell phone virus waiting to happen. Use respected and trusted sites. I prefer to use CNET when I am downloading most software. Speaking of the angel, there is a great article with some fanstastic resources on cell phone viruses and anti cell phone virus software.

Cell Phone Virus Symptons
Like your computer, it totally wigs out to say the least. If you definitely did not drop it in water or do something crazy and you fall into one of the categories above, you could be at risk. There are no common symptons, but sometimes you may experience problems such as the battery won't recharge or constantly drains, a certain menu options keeps blinking and doesn't allow you to scroll to other menu options or another screen. Of course these problems can also come with age, other long term recurring abuse and physical damage it could have received, lol, and isolated problems with the phone software in general.

What to Do if I have Problems?
Without hesitation, I would advise you seek professional help :)but in regards to your phone, I would recommend the following:

1. Make sure you always have a copy of your phone book, emails, addresses etc. backed up on your computer or elsewhere. You know if you get a virus you are going to lose everything. Even if you think you are never going to get a virus, you should ALWAYS have a back up your information anyway.

2. When in doubt take the battery out. Attempt to do a soft reset by removing the battery in your cell phone and keeping it out for approximately one minute. Replace the battery, power it on and see if it works.

3. If it doesn't...you're pretty much screwed...only kidding ;-) Call customer care and ask for warranty exchange. Tell them you THINK you are having 'software related issues' or tell them what your phone is doing or not doing (do not tell them your mobile have contacted a deadly cell phone virus). Listen to their suggestions and see if any of them will work.

4. When you receive the replacement phone, download anti virus software for your cell phone. The larger companies such as Symantec are now offering these as f.ree downloads (as of this writing).

5. Use common sense. Hopefully you have a little bit of that :)

Go back to cell phone security.

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