Can my cell phone get a virus?

Yes, your mobile phone can get a virus. Like with your PC, anytime you use your smartphone to text, read emails, download information, use bluetooth and surf the web, you are vulnerable to viruses and malware. Mobile viruses and malware are becoming a big concern — mobile malware increased 700 percent in the last year alone, with the Android operating system being the biggest target.

These are the some of the ways you can pick up mobile viruses:

• URLs and/or attachments in social media or personal email. Like on any computer, clicking a link or downloading an attachment on your mobile device can install mobile malware.

• App stores. Though the different app stores try to monitor their stores for malware, they can sometimes sneak in. For example, last fall a famous hacker designed a malicious app for the Apple App Store that looked like a stock market app, but was actually malware that could steal information from the downloader’s device.

• Third Party Software. Each device operating system has the capability of third party software installation, which can easily contain malware.

See the tip, “How do I protect my mobile phone against viruses?” for information on how to keep your mobile phone, and your personal information, safe.