1. Goal 3
  2. Step C

Install Anti-malware Software

Something to consider for some devices


Do I need anti-malware software on my mobile device?

In short: iOS, no. Android, probably.

If you're using an iPad or iPhone, at this time, I'm not going to recommend that you install any particular anti-malware software on your device. This recommendation could change in the future based on evolutions in the landscape, though, so check back now and then.

However, if you're using an Android device, you could probably benefit from an anti-malware package. And if you purchased Bitdefender Total Security in an earlier step, you could use it for your mobile device. That is, if you didn't use all 5 of your licenses already on desktops or laptops.

Here is a video from Bitdefender covering setup on an Android device.

If you try it, and it's not a good fit, you can always remove it. And the same as with the computer version, I don't recommend that you use their VPN service.

Why not iOS?

Apple has iOS locked down in such a way that it prevents anti-malware software from being able to do any scanning or detection in the way that it would on a Mac, Windows, or Android device. The downside is that you can't run traditional anti-malware apps. The upside, though, is that this also provides a great deal of protection for the devices, theoretically lowering the need for anti-malware software on iOS.

But, if you'd like some protection for just your web browsing activity on the iPhone or iPad, you might take a look at Malwarebytes for iOS. This really only helps if you use Safari and is intended to help prevent you from browsing to known malicious websites.

What about a firewall?

In theory, if you don't have any sideloaded or unofficial apps installed, iOS and Android should be able to provide you essential firewall-like functionality on their own. As long as you're not jailbroken/rooted.

Ok, but I need a VPN though, right?

Maybe! But they're not a necessary as modern marketing would have you believe. I'll have a bonus chapter in this guide that covers VPNs and what they can actually help with after you finish the essentials. In short, if you use a lot of public Wi-Fi, a VPN app on your phone isn't a bad idea. But they're not strictly necessary for security.

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