Originally Posted by Paradroid90
Curious surely smartphones require AV / firewalls etc as really they are handheld computers which are vulnerable.
Surfing the internet and accessing certain websites can screw with your PC, so surely smartphone is no different
Both right and wrong.
1. You are right that smartphones are handheld computers
2. You are wrong that browsing the web can get you viruses that screw up the phone.
Your phone runs a different OS compared to your computer (Windows/Mac vs Android). In as much the same way you can put 32GB of Windows viruses on a Mac and nothing will happen, you can fill up the mass storage of your phone with viruses and nothing will happen apart from getting storage full notifications. Viruses don't work cross platform. A virus has to be specifically made for your OS so it can affect that OS. And the design of Android makes it impossible for viruses to exist. This is because while on a PC, many people prefer to be using the admin account (I don't know why) instead of a standard account, many viruses are able to run in the backround immediately without the owner knowing. On Android, since you don't have admin access out of the box, the viruses would run into the brick wall of permissions denied on the phone. And even if you have admin access by rooting, Android programs have a set level of sandboxing (or perhaps a better term is selective permissibility) as well. The OS is protected by a "permissions wall" where the apps you install can only affect the contents or workings of the phone if the permissions are granted, which is why you see a list of permissions when you install apps.