Should you install an antivirus app on your smartphone? The answer might surprise you

It is one of the most popular questions I get: do I need an anti-virus app for my iPhone? I’ve been giving out the same advice on this topic for years and years, especially on my podcast, but then I thought to myself: what if I’m wrong? I decided to consult a cybersecurity expert to find out.

I met up with Kevin Tadevosyan, CEO of CyberDuo, a company that helps small businesses keep their systems secure and safe from the threat of hackers, malware, viruses, and Ransomware.

“There is no device or computer system that is not hackable,” started Tadevosyan.

He says the cost of hacking has come down considerably, which is why we see it happening more often. It’s also the reason why we get so many spam texts on our smartphones, which is a big way that the bad folks worm their way into our phones.

These texts target our personal information, login usernames and passwords, and financial information, like bank account and card numbers.

“They either use that, or they sell it,” explained Tadevosyan.

His first piece of advice: don’t click those random links.

“It links you to another page, you open another page and another page; that can be very dangerous,” said Tadevosyan.

He says consumers should enable two factor authentication on accounts, “no exception.”

This means that even if hackers get your password, they’ll still have trouble logging in because they’ll need a “second factor” of authentication, which is a random number generated by an app or texted to your phone number.

The texted numbers are more convenient but less secure, so if you can, go with an authentication app like Authy, Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator.

Also, avoid public WiFi when you can. If you use an open network, it’s best to use a VPN. If you’re accessing sensitive information like your bank account, it’s best to use your home WiFi or switch to your cellular connection.

Even charging your phone in public can potentially put you at risk of “juice jacking.” Tadevosyan recommends using a small USB device called a data blocker to plug in your phone. It allows your phone to charge but disables data transfer; this way no one…