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Long thought to be a hoax, mobile phone viruses are definitely a real threat to your electronics. Early on, mobile technology was thought to be impervious to viral threats, but clever programmers have overcome the obstacles of these systems and designed intelligent viruses that can steal, erase or duplicate the information on your device. Some send spam messages from your phone email or access your social networking applications to spread through the Internet.

With the popularity of application downloads, mobile users who do not exercise extreme caution can open themselves to many viruses. Android smartphone users may be at a greater risk, as the applications designed for this platform are not checked as extensively for legitimacy before showing up on the market as iPhone apps are. Indeed, any programmer with the wit to create a virus certainly has the capability to cover it up with a game or functional application that users would be anxious to download. Free features are often more likely to be infected than paid ones, so choose your apps carefully.

The mobile phone industry takes viral threats seriously, but there is so much open-access material that is beyond the scope of the manufacturers that consumers must take matters of security into their own hands. How can you protect your mobile device from the threat of viral infection? There are a few steps that can effectively immunize your smartphone and keep your valuable data secure. First, turn your Bluetooth off unless you are specifically using it. Several viruses transfer from one phone through the next through open Bluetooth connections. If you are currently operating your Bluetooth device, ensure that it remains in hidden mode. Always avoid opening messages and files sent from unknown sources, whether they are through Bluetooth, email or messaging services.

Download content from trusted sources only. Well-known developers and websites will go the distance to ensure that their applications and files are completely clean. The liability of a virus is simply not something they wish to deal with. If you are interested in a lesser-known application, be sure to read the reviews of the product on the marketplace or App Store. Users who are infected by a virus are generally very vocal about their experience, and they can save you a lot of trouble.

Install anti-virus software on your mobile device. Several free and paid download options exist, including Norton Mobile Security, NetQin Antivirus and MyMobile Protection. Always keep your anti-virus software updated for maximum efficiency. As new threats emerge, these software programs have additional protections added to them.

Keep your memory card in your own possession at all times. A card lent to another person, especially one that you do not know or trust, can become a conduit for viruses. Similarly, handle file transfers from another phone to yours manually. Inserting an infected card into your phone will transfer the malware to your system. While it is a slower process, taking the time to upload files one by one is a great way to protect your phone from lurking threats.

This article is by Chloe Parker, the chief editor of She’s like to invite you to visit the site and check out the best mobile phone offers and keep in touch with the latest mobile news.