Most of us install anti-virus software on our home PCs as a matter of course. It may be time to evaluate if you should install similar anti-virus software on your smartphone. Some anti-virus software makers provide free apps for (android) mobile users.

And just as we have learnt to be careful about suspicious emails delivered to our home and work PCs, it also pays to be wary of suspicious emails, SMS, MMS or instant messages received on your smartphone.

When in doubt, delete!


Here are our top tips for dealing with spam, scam and malware:

  • Be wary of emails, SMS, MMS or instant messages from people you do not know. If you do not know who the message is from, it is best to ignore and delete the message.
  • Be wary of any emails, SMS, MMS or instant messages that state you have won a prize. Stop and think about whether you actually entered a competition before replying because these messages are usually scams.  It is generally advisable not to reply or call the number contained in the message as you may find yourself subscribing to a premium rate service that you did not want. (For more information about premium rate subscription services click here.) And you can report scams to the ACCC.
  • If you receive a lot of spam messages, contact your service provider to see if they have any way of blocking spam. Spam is unlawful and you can also report spam to the ACMA.
  • If an email or message you receive on your mobile seems suspicious do not respond or open any attachments. Never supply personal details, passwords, PINs or bank account or credit card details in response to any email or message you receive on your phone.
  • Don’t install apps or software on your mobile phone unless they are from a trusted source. Be especially wary of apps or software attached to an SMS or email that you were not expecting to receive. And avoid unauthorised or “pirated” copies of software.
  • Familiarise yourself with the security functions of your mobile and use them. Set a Personal Identification Number (PIN) which must be entered before anyone can use your mobile. Smartphones can contain confidential and personal data and you should use  a PIN code for your handset and SIM card. See for more information on keeping your mobile secure from loss or theft.
  • Consider installing anti-virus software on your smartphone if you think you may potentially be at risk. Many anti-virus and security apps designed for android mobiles are free, but you may want read some reviews of the various apps available first
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