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Smartphones are extremely versatile beasts How Smartphones Are Ruining Your Life How Smartphones Are Ruining Your Life Your smartphone could be ruining your life, or at least have the capacity to do so in the future. Read More , as they can be used for all manner of different tasks. Some people use their phone mostly to communicate with friends and family, while others will spend hours beavering away at mobile games.

However, taking photographs on a smartphone Top Tips: How To Take Great Photos With Your Smartphone Top Tips: How To Take Great Photos With Your Smartphone Smartphone and mobile photography are becoming increasingly popular. And no wonder. Every year, mobile and smartphone cameras get better and better, until many people don’t feel the need to carry real cameras around anymore. While... Read More is an unusually universal activity… isn’t it? Actually, we’re not sure, but we do want to find out. Welcome to this week’s MakeUseOf Poll.

Malware Malady

To answer this week’s question please scroll down the page until you see the poll staring back at you. But first, we need to look at the results from last week, when we asked, “When Were You Last Hit By Malware?

Out of a total of 295 votes, 45.8% chose Over a Year Ago, 19.3% chose I Have Never Been Hit By Malware, 12.2% chose Within the Last 6 Months, 7.1% chose Within the Last Year, 6.8% chose Within the Last Week, 6.1% chose Within the Last Month, and 2.7% chose What Is Malware?

These results are rather interesting, as they suggest that the majority of our readers haven’t encountered malware Viruses, Spyware, Malware, etc. Explained: Understanding Online Threats Viruses, Spyware, Malware, etc. Explained: Understanding Online Threats When you start to think about all the things that could go wrong when browsing the Internet, the web starts to look like a pretty scary place. Read More for over a year. A significant portion have been lucky and/or careful enough never to have been hit by malicious software in all their years of using computers and the Internet.

Does this mean the threat of malware has been somewhat neutralized? Unfortunately not. However, with concerted efforts to keep people safe, and even the most casual Internet user now being aware of the dangers, it’s a much more hit-and-miss affair for the hackers and cybercriminals using it for nefarious purposes.

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Comment of the Week

We received a lot of great comments, including those from EM, Kelsey Tidwell, and Maryon Jeane. Comment Of The Week goes to Dennis Primm, who earns our admiration and affection for this comment When Were You Last Hit By Malware? [MakeUseOf Poll] When Were You Last Hit By Malware? [MakeUseOf Poll] We want to know all about your most recent experience with malware. Welcome to this week's MakeUseOf Poll! Read More :

Thank God, I have never been hit by malware. In the past 8-9 years I have used MS Security Essentials and Defender and found them to be very good at preventing viruses and malware on my computer. Before that I used mainly McAfee which was free at the time. I have also used AVG and Kaspersky too.

I also installed SuperAntiSpyware (SAS) and Malwarebytes to scan my computer when I get off the internet and want to make sure that nothing got by Security Essentials or Defender. SAS usually catches all the adware and I’ll delete that stuff when I run it. But all in all I think MS has a good anti-virus/malware product.

I believe it was either you guys at MakeUseOf or the guys at How to Geek that told us that we don’t need all the expensive bells and whistles and you were right! Thank you for saving me a lot of money!

We chose this comment as it’s a good reminder that you don’t need to spend a fortune to protect yourself. And you’ll only ever need security software 5 Security Software Myths That Can Prove Dangerous 5 Security Software Myths That Can Prove Dangerous Malware is still a thing! Tens of millions of PCs remain infected worldwide. The damage ranges from unstable computers to identity theft. What makes people not take malware seriously? Let's uncover the myths. Read More , whether it’s free or paid-for, if and when your computer becomes infected with something. Which, if you follow the necessary precautions, should only be a rare occurrence.

Smartphone Shooters

Most smartphones make very capable cameras. They may not be able to compete with the average DSLR, but they’re great as daily, fuss-free, point-and-shoot cameras 6 Best Point-and-Shoot Cameras: Style, Features or Optics 6 Best Point-and-Shoot Cameras: Style, Features or Optics Some people may want the most stylish camera, others may want superior zoom, and some may be on a strict budget. Don't worry, we have you covered. Read More . Which is how we suppose most people use them. But is this actually true?

Are selfie-obsessed teenagers Stop Hating On Selfies: 3 Reasons You Should Love Them Stop Hating On Selfies: 3 Reasons You Should Love Them Selfies are all too often written off as the egotistical masturbation of brainless teenagers, but that's a superficial take on them. Here's why. Read More skewing the reality of the situation? Or is everyone and their dog really shooting photos with their smartphone every chance they get? Please vote in the poll below to help us get a clearer picture of the situation.

Once you have voted in the poll above, please explain in the comments section below why you voted that way. If you often take photos with your smartphone, what makes you do so? If you don’t often take photos with your smartphone, why do you prefer using a camera instead?

The more information you can provide with your comment, the more accurate our conclusions can be based on the results. The best comment of the week will win our everlasting admiration and affection. At least until we all meet back here again this time next week with a new question.

Image Credits: Joshua Tree National Park via Flickr

  1. Joe Birch
    August 19, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    I do take the occasional photo but the main use for my camera is forms and paperwork I want to keep a record of. My charity card is in photo form so I always have it with me. My wife once stated that she had wrinkles on her face due to weight loss. We were sat having a meal at a restaurant at the time, and I just whipped my phone out and took a close up of her face and declared, "See, your just as beautiful as you always have been."

  2. Jean-Michel Alexis
    August 18, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Due to its convenience size ... a smartphone is my number one camera ... now to get more technicall i am defintely getting a DSL later but for now it does the job ... an quickly

  3. Dmitriy Tverdov
    August 18, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Checked off ' once a month' - that's how often i use smartphone as camera for taking pictures.
    If i included 'office use' - i.e. snapping memos/plaques/drawings/cheques - it would be 'almost every frecking day' (that's why transition from old-style smartphones - ones w/o both autofocus and flash - was a blessing,those were not designed for that at all). And thus any camera malfunction will call for URGENT repair/replacement of phone.
    On other hand IMO purchase/use of selfie sticks is in area of mild psychiatric disorders)

  4. Peter Fitzsimmons
    August 18, 2015 at 9:49 am

    I only ever take a picture when there is something worth capturing.
    I have friends who take (and post) every picture they take, thinking they are the next David Bailey.... they are not!

    Recently I took photo's of the Red Arrows flying over my house as they use the hill near me to bank between the two air shows in my county. I was also lucky enough to get a few snaps of the Vulcan bomber on it's last flight, which was cool.

    The only other thing I use my camera for is taking pictures through my telescope.

    I'm still a beginner and can not afford an expensive DSLR camera or all the accessories, but by holding the phone lens to the eye piece, I have taken a few cool pics of the Moon and Mars - next up Saturn and Jupiter!

  5. Leah C
    August 17, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    I voted at least once a week, but it's more like something in between once a week and once a month. I have a standalone camera, but it's usually easier to take pictures with my cell phone. I don't have to carry two bulky things around. I hardly use my standalone because of this. There are some things I still haven't figured out how to do on my cell phone which is why I keep the standalone around.

  6. red_green_esq
    August 17, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    One other thing I do use my phone camera for is depositing checks into my bank account. There's no branch in my little town,so this lets me make deposits without a 120 mi.round trip drive.Very handy for that. I sign the check for deposionly,then photograph both siides and send it. Posts next day.

  7. red_green_esq
    August 17, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    I tend to agree with James. I use my phone to shots my cats,or something that doesnt need to be really special. For stuff I really want to be quality,I have a Nikon digital camera and Samsung digial video camera for things I want to be special. I hae an LG LGL34C that does a decent job,but in my opinion,if you want quality pix/vids,use a real camera.

  8. James Howde
    August 17, 2015 at 10:34 am

    If I'm going anywhere that I think I'm going to be taking photos then I take my camera.

    It's the zoom, phone cameras are excellent pieces of technology but there's a limit to how much you can do when the 'long lens' is less than half a centimetre.

    That leaves when I'm not expecting to take photos; so as with likefun they are mostly information - a lot of the time it's stuff that I could write down but it's easier to snap a photo now and transcribe it later.

  9. agubars1
    August 17, 2015 at 6:54 am

    When I take a photo its mainly for my own personal use: like I need to send a copy of my passport or my friend asked me to send him a quick photo of a document and etc.

    I barely use my phone to take pictures of myself and post them on a popular social media websites. I have got iPhone 6, and the camera is great there, even though it is 'only' 8MP, I get an amazing quality and the picture itself does not take up a lot of space.

    For me a phone is a phone, its main function is to make and receive calls, not taking pictures :) so if this functionality will disappear magically like user likefun butnot said, I will not be very upset, maybe a bit...

  10. Mark “Mr. Marcus” Major
    August 17, 2015 at 3:16 am

    The fact that my cellphone is almost constantly with me and easier to get to than my other camera devices (ie: my tablet and my stand-alone "point n shoot" camera) makes it a no brainer to use for picture taking. If I'm planning on being somewhere where I know that I'll be shooting photos well ahead of time then I may decide to use my camera. Still, the ease of auto back-up (cloud storage) and the editing tools now included with cellphones, it's provides a compelling arguement to leave the extra hardware behind and move about unencumbered by the added "bulk" the other devices can bring.

  11. Alan Trinder
    August 17, 2015 at 2:00 am

    I always have my phone so it is my most important camera. Despite the small chip size pictures are remarkably good.

  12. likefun butnot
    August 17, 2015 at 12:15 am

    I take photos a few times a month. The photos I take with my phone are entirely utilitarian. I take photos of server racks, the undersides of laptops or of books I think I might one day like to read. My phone has a fantastic camera and I believe that it is one of its main selling points, but very little of my life needs to be recorded in that fashion. If I lost that functionality, I don't even think I'd be bothered.

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