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Viruses on Phones – do they really exist?

Viruses on phones, surely they don’t really exist? If you want a short answer, then – not really! However, don’t relax, it’s not really as simple as that!

Viruses are a particular type of problem on computers. They are a program that copies itself when it runs, causing damage to the computer. In fact, they are a subset of a broader category of malicious programs called “Malware” (Malicious Software).

Viruses on Phones, seriously?

Cybercriminals are masters at exploiting weaknesses in computers, and now phones. If you haven’t updated your Operating System recently, if you are using an old browser, or your WiFi is compromised, then they can attack! You may be conned into downloading a dodgy app or asked to click a link in a text or email message. They are always cooking up new methods of tricking people into connecting to these malicious services. If you connect, then that’s when the trouble starts.

We mentioned that viruses are not really common on cellphones. This is really a matter of definition. Viruses are part of a group of software called Malware, which is where you find lots of different types of programs, all designed to be harmful.

In addition to viruses, you may see terms like:

  • Worms
  • Bots & Botnets
  • Trojan Horses
  • Ransomware
  • Adware
  • Malvertising
  • Spyware
  • Stalkerware

All of these are different types of harmful software, and are usually designed to:

  • Cause you disruption by breaking your phone.
  • Steal your sensitive personal information for resale to third parties.
  • Uses your personal information for advertising.
  • Gathers banking or other financial access.
  • Remotely monitors your camera, text, or email communications.

Although Viruses on phones are not a common threat, other forms of Malware are becoming increasingly common. Mainly because personal information is readily accessible on phones, and therefore a valuable target for criminals.

How To Stay Safe Against Malware On Your Cellphone

Viruses on phones are something that will undoubtedly grow as a challenge over time. Follow our guide to help keep safe.

  1. Update Everything! Ensure that you always update your Android or iOS Operating System whenever possible. Also make sure that you update your frequently used apps, including your web browser.
  2. Download Apps from Trusted Sources. Don’t be tempted to download apps that aren’t supplied on the official Apple App Store or Google Play Store. It is a less likely situation on Apple devices, but it is a more common occurrence for Android phones. It’s not foolproof, some malicious apps slip through the net, but it’s an adequate safeguard.
  3. Don’t Click on Unknown Attachments. If you receive an email from someone you don’t know (and trust!), try to avoid clicking on an attachment. If you don’t know the source of an email or are not expecting an attachment, it’s better safe than sorry.
  4. Avoid Public WiFi. It’s tempting to use free, open public WiFi. Unless it’s somewhere you can trust (like a big brand coffee shop), it is a potential route for scammers to install Malware, often as part of the sign-on process. If at all possible, avoid these WiFi services.
  5. Check App Permissions. When you install an app, it will sometimes ask for permission to access your GPS, contacts, camera, or other information. Think about whether the app would typically need that access – does this game really need to access your contacts? Just tread carefully, and you should be fine.
  6. Install Fortress! Of course, we are going to promote our Fortress Memberships. Installing Fortress is an excellent way to install a best-in-breed Malware scanning tool, in partnership with BitDefender, alongside our other protection features. Our suite of tools gives excellent safeguards against Malware and dodgy websites, web threats, and personal data breaches.

 

 

iOS 14 Features, All New or Disappointing?

Apple’s iOS 14 was released in September 2020 and offers many new features. However, are any of them actually useful to the general phone user? IOS 14 Features have been lauded as exciting updates, but are they anything more than window dressing?

What devices are compatible?

iOS updates have been growing in size and complexity over the years, and compatibility is becoming more challenging for older devices. The latest revision of iOS is available to anyone already running iOS 13. If your phone is the iPhone 6S or newer, then you can update to iOS 14. So any of the following devices will be able to grab the latest version:

• iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, and iPhone SE (1st gen)
• iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
• iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X
• iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR
• iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max
• iPhone SE (2nd gen)

How to Download iOS 14

Most phones will automatically update the Operating System. Most of the time, you can wait overnight, and as-if-by-magic, your phone will be up-to-date with the new OS. However, sometimes the automatic process does not work, and at that point, you will need to update your phone manually. This update can be done either via the phone settings itself or via iTunes on your computer.

Updating To iOS 14 Via The Phone

IOS 14 feature update

1. Backup your phone using iCloud or iTunes on your computer.
2. Plug your phone into a charger.
3. Choose > Settings
4. Choose > General
5. Choose > Software Update
6. Choose > Download and Install
7. [to update now] Choose > Install
8. [to update overnight] Choose > Install Tonight or Remind Me Later

Updating to iOS 14 Via iTunes

1. Plug your phone into your computer using a USB Cable.
2. Open the iTunes application (it may open automatically).
3. Select the phone icon from the top of the iTunes screen
4. Choose > Check for Update
5. iTunes will offer to create a backup of your data and then allow you to Download and Install the update.

 

Updating to iOS 14 on Mac

1. On a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15 or newer, open Finder.
2. On a Mac with macOS 10.14 or earlier, follow the instructions for iTunes above.
3. Plug your phone into your Mac using a USB cable.
4. Select your phone under Locations in Finder.
5. Choose > General or Settings, then choose Check for Update.
6. Choose > Download and Update.
7. If asked, enter your passcode.

 

iOS 14 Features – an Overview

Home Screen Widgets

iOS 14 adds Widgets to the home screen of your phone. These are handy little apps that are data-rich and let you customize your home screen with information such as the clock, weather, stocks, and maps. Widgets can be resized and repositioned to your taste. Once applied, App icons move out of the way automatically to make room.

App Library

IOS 14 Feature App Library

App Library is a new view that allows you to organize all of your apps. Apps are automatically organized in the App Library, so you don’t have to keep all of the icons on your home screen. There is also a new list view that lets you sort applications based on usage and more.

Picture-in-Picture

Your iPhone can now show Picture-in-Picture, so you can carry on watching a video while you are checking your Twitter feed, or chat with a friend while watching a movie.

Siri

For Siri has become more integrated to the whole operating system and appears as small notifications at the top of your phone, rather than taking up the whole screen. It means that Siri is now less intrusive and more akin to other core parts of the OS. As a result, Siri can also understand more and do more, including more accurate translations.

Messages

Messages on iOS 14 have now been upgraded in several ways. Firstly, you can now pin conversations to the top of your app, so those most important to you can always be at the top of your list. Secondly, there are now more styles for your Memoji to allow you to customize your character further. Lastly, Messaging Groups also get an upgrade with inline replies and the ability to @mention a person like other systems.

Maps

Apple Maps now features routes for cyclists (at least in a handful of major cities), giving routes with cycle lanes, quieter roads, and even avoiding steep inclines. If you have an electric vehicle, Maps also shows you charging stations along your route. Finally playing catch-up with other Map apps, it now warns you about traffic cameras while driving.

Apple Car Play

With a compatible car, such as the 2021 BMW 5 Series, you are now able to unlock and start your car through your phone. As a result, car keys are one less thing to remember on the way out of the house!

IOS 14 Feature App Clips

App Clips

App Clips is a new feature that allows you to easily access applications quickly without having to download the full version from the Apple App Store. So, you can try new apps easily on the go without committing to the complete download.

Privacy

Apple has always promoted their focus on Privacy and protecting customer data. For iOS 14 they have improved this even further by requiring all apps to obtain permission before tracking you, for instance. You will also be able to share your approximate location, rather than your exact location for certain apps, and find out more about an app’s use of your camera and microphone. Lastly, the Safari web browser also improves by allowing you to see any ad trackers that are active when you browse the web.

Accessibility

Finally, hearing-impaired users will see a useful feature where you can set up the iPhone to listen out for specific sounds such as a fire alarm or warning siren. So, if the phone hears the noise, it will notify the user.

 

Fortress is fully compatible with IOS14 and available to download from the Appstore.

Fortress

Fortress and the Fortress logo are trademarks of Fortress Global Group Limited, registered in the U.S.A., U.K. and E.U.

Android, Google and Google Play are trademarks of Google Inc.

Apple, the Apple logo, and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.

Wireless Device Insurance is provided through Dimension Insurance Agency Inc, 5500 Frantz Road, Suite 120, Dublin, OH 43017, NPN number 1875657 and is underwritten by State National Insurance Company, 1900 L. Don Dodson Drive, Bedford, Texas 76021.  The insurance product may not be available in all states. This communication contains product summaries only.  Coverage is subject to the language of the policies as actually issued. For more information about this insurance please click here. Please note that Fortress is not a licensed insurance producer or underwriting company.

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