Whether it’s the Discussions community, with over 600,000 members or the Nokia Care guys and girls on the ground, you’ll always find someone to help you get the most from your device. One man whose has spent the last six years doing just that is Nokia Care Community Manager Wayne Spillet. Happily, today, he’s here at Nokia Conversations to bust some myths about viruses and malware. Over to you, Wayne.
We often get questions from customers who want to know if their phone is at risk from viruses and malware, and even customers who believe that their phone has contracted a virus. At Nokia, we value your privacy and security above all else, and so we decided to spend a little time to set your minds at rest with some simple facts and advice on this.
What is a virus?
Computer viruses are small software programs that are designed to spread from one computer to another without the knowledge of the users and to interfere with computer operation.
What is malware?
Malware, short for Malicious Software, is any kind of computer code that is intended to cause harm to a computer system or the data therein. A virus is a kind of malware, but there are other kinds, including code built into programs you might install yourself or that might exist in certain web sites that may seek to access your personal data for nefarious purposes.
Is my Nokia phone at risk from viruses?
If you have one of our award-winning Lumia phones or the excellent range of Nokia feature phones including Asha, then you have an operating system that cannot be overwritten by an external program, and also nothing can be installed without your knowledge, so you are quite safe from viruses.
Even our classic Symbian devices are incredibly safe, there were some early attempts to make viruses for them, but since Symbian also doesn’t allow any installations or changes to the operating system without the user’s knowledge, they were never able to spread far – and all models introduced since mid-2006 are safe even from those very few early virus attempts.
Interesting fact: Anti-virus experts F-Secure are on record as saying that Windows Phone is the most secure mobile platform in the market!
Is my Nokia phone at risk from other types of malware?
Lumia phones can only get apps from the Windows Phone Store, which means that everything you install has been checked before we allowed it to be published, and this is why it is the most secure platform on the market. In a world of “rooted Androids” and “Jail-broken iPhones”, Lumia is a haven of safety and tranquillity!
If you are using one of our other models, again anything you download from the Nokia Store will have been checked, but when downloading apps from other places you would be well-advised to choose only software from reputable sources. Apps may need access to your personal data in order to function, for example a chat app may need access to your contacts, an app offering services based on where you are will need to know your GPS location, et cetera; and you want to be sure that rogue app developers are not making inappropriate use of your data.
Have you noticed that in the Windows Phone Store, the description of every app tells you what data and phone features the app will need to access so you can make an informed decision before downloading whether you want to proceed.
Can a virus in my PC also affect my Nokia phone?
No, absolutely not. Viruses are written for a particular type of computer system, they cannot attack another kind. Even with Nokia Lumia phones with Windows Phone, whilst the system architecture is similar to Windows in a modern PC, viruses intended for your PC cannot infect your phone.
“I think my Nokia phone has a virus”
We can pretty much guarantee to you that it has not. If your phone is not behaving as you would expect chances are that we can help put things right. We have a wealth of troubleshooting information available at www.nokia.com /support, and we also have an excellent support community which is available 24/7 at www.nokia.com/discussions.