Online security myths: Security is only for computers

Updated: 
Family using new technology, overhead view

Nowadays, people know they must protect their computers from viruses with security software (though free products rarely offer enough protection). But some don't realise that their smartphone and tablet are computers too, so they also need protection.

In the last year, the most popular scam involved signing users up to premium rate text services which rack up the phone bill – the scammers own the SMS service but it's usually based in an unregulated country where they won't be found and prosecuted.

Ransomware is also on the increase. Here, a virus locks your device and you get a message instructing you to pay a ransom (usually via Bitcoin, as it is untraceable). If you don't pay the ransom, your device will remain locked and will be useless.

Mobile security software works in a very similar way to the computer software you are probably familiar with. It will stop you visiting websites which may contain harmful content or steal your personal information (including credit card details, user account info and passwords). It will also scan your Android phone or tablet for viruses and other malicious code, keeping you safe online.

Another handy feature for Android users is the ability to locate your device when it is lost or stolen. You can also remotely lock and wipe the data, keeping your personal information, photos etc. out of the hands of criminals.

For Android phone owners suffering harassment from bullies or aggressive salespeople, the ability to block numbers is another valuable tool to look out for.

Mobile attacks are a growing market for hackers and scammers, so make sure you keep yourself protected. TalkTalk customers can use SuperSafe powered by F-Secure to protect all of their family's devices. Eight-device protection is £2 per month (and it's worth £99 a year). Log in to My Account, select the package you want and you will receive an email from F-Secure to install it on your device for full protection.