In the last decade, the major risk on devices has changed from viruses to malware. Malware is a shortened version of “malicious software,” and it can do harmful or unwanted things to a mobile device. Criminals around the world are looking for ways to improve malware and make it harder to detect and remove. The main purpose in creating malware is to find and steal personal identity information, such as credit card numbers, bank account information, and passwoards. 

No matter what type of device you use, whether an iPad Mini or HTC One M9, on iOS or Android, malware is a risk. There are several types, such as ransomware, which locks a device and forces the owner to pay a fee to unlock it, and power off hijack, which makes the phone look like it’s off, but it can still make calls, take pictures, and do other things that pose a security threat. More than 16 million devices had some type of malware in 2014, and that marked a 75 percent increase from the year before. 

There are ways to lessen your risk of malware attacks. Only use verified apps from app stores that you trust, and read reviews before you install. Use secure browsers when clicking links, since these come with protection from malware. You can also keep your software up-to-date on your device, since newer updates have lower risk for malware attacks. Check out the information below to learn more about malware and how to protect yourself and your devices.