Can Your PS4 Get a Virus?

Your PS4 is probably one of your most prized possessions. It holds countless hours of gaming and entertainment potential, along with records of your most awesome victories and achievements. It allows you to connect with a network of friends who share your passion for PS4 gaming. In essence, it's one of the most important devices you own. You may have wondered what would happen if it ever picked up a virus. Could it happen? What would the aftermath be? Find out whether or not your PS4 is likely to fall prey to a virus.

The OS Difference

A PS4 doesn't run Windows or a similar PC operating system; it has its own unique operating system, designed for its specific needs as a gaming console. That means it isn't vulnerable to the same types of viruses that might impact your personal computer. The difference doesn't mean that it is virus-proof; it simply means that the PS4's coding is totally different than the common PC systems of the day for which most viruses are designed.

Not Virus-Proof, Just Not Worth the Trouble

For a while, Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, and similar devices were considered practically virus-proof; but that was only because malware writers didn't devote the time necessary to crack those systems. The hackers and virus makers focused on non-Apple systems instead, since they were more widespread at the time. Businesses and private users tended to have PCs and Android devices instead.

The same principle applies when you're considering the risk factor for your PS4. Someone could definitely write a virus to target PS4 systems. It would be tough, but it could happen. But what would be the point? What would the individual or group stand to gain from all those hours invested in the making of the virus? They might be able to get some limited account information or wreak some havoc, but the payoff probably would not warrant the time and effort invested.

Is There Antivirus Protection?

Whilst the PS4 is very secure, you might be wondering if there are any third-party options just as you have with a computer. The answer is yes, Trend Micro Security provides a package which includes blocking fraudulent websites, blocking malicious sites, and child protection settings. This is possibly worth considering if you use the PS4 web-browser often.

The Sony Shutdown

Another consideration is quick response that Sony would have to such a threat. When the PS4 first came out, users questioned its security, wondering if the console would be susceptible to viruses because of its new connectivity options. Sony promised that if anyone managed to get past the security measures built into the console, it would respond immediately. Within hours, firmware would be released to resolve the issue and close the breach.

That kind of quick response on Sony's part makes it doubly unlikely that anyone would spend the time creating a PS4-specific virus. The virus writer would have to spend hours or days creating the malicious code and cracking the security of the console, only to be shut down, probably within 12-24 hours. It's just not a worthwhile project, from a malware creator's point of view.

Practical Precautions

Do you feel reassured about the safety of your system? We hope so. The chances of a virus hitting your console are extremely remote. If you're still nervous, minimize how much personal information you keep stored on your PS4 and change your password to something that's tough to crack. Read up on Sony's recommended privacy settings and security precautions so that you can reduce the risk of someone infiltrating your console.

Have you ever heard of someone getting a virus on a PS4? Tell us about it in the comments!

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