What if your phone was as susceptible to internet viruses (and malware) as your PC? It would be maddening to say the least. Well, here’s a story about a new virus in circulation that can hit all java enabled phones. While we may be a long way from mobile communication catastrophe caused by malicious software, there are a few things to consider when thinking about phones vs. today’s virus susceptible computers.
–Our phones are becoming more like computers every day. Smartphones are indeed moving out of niche status. They are more complex, more powerful, more like our PC’s, connected to the internet, and potentially more susceptible to malicious software
–Today’s phone operating systems can’t be upgraded and patched easily like our computer operating systems can (at least not yet). If a virus were to hit a broad swath of phones with their relatively inflexible operating systems it would be serious. Logistically we (the mobile carriers too) haven’t faced anything like this yet and the first time will definitely be painful.
–Our phones are a true extension of ourselves. We seem to use them constantly and many of us have ditched our landlines and gone completely mobile. Even though I use my home computer all the time, I’d still be okay without it. Losing my phone however, would cause serious pain.
–Also, for many of us the computer is still just entertainment, while the phone is a critical communication device even for the most carefree person. Even though there may be just as many home PC’s, consumer cries will be much louder if their phones are bogged down and malfunctioning because of malicious software.
–Businesses, even small businesses (if they’re at all smart) have something in place to protect and backup their critical data. But stories of businesses taking measures to back up their phones are few and far between.
Will we be able to adjust? I think so, but not without some pain.