The increase in the popularity of Google’s mobile operating system (Android) has contributed to both smartphones and tablets reaching the public, instead of these products being restricted to a niche market of well-off customers. This revolution has had a great positive impact on the lives of many people, but it has also generated significant risks. Security threats targeting Android devices do not stop growing, and anyone who overlooks this trend is putting their privacy, security, and finances at risk.
The best way to keep your Android device protected is through exclusive security software that can analyze it constantly, as well as by searching for threats on any of the new applications that you have installed. However, you must be careful when choosing security software. Although there is a wide range of free mobile antivirus products, many of them are trojans or camouflaged viruses. Always choose security software that you can download from a trusted security solution provider. It is possible that the security service with constant updates offered by the provider is paid, but there is no doubt that it pays to pay that small amount in order to get effective protection against threats directed to Android devices. Most of these security applications for Android devices offer a free trial version, so you can try them before you buy them. Some of the products can even protect your computer and your Android device (or several of them) at the same time.
A world of threats targeting Android devices
The Android operating system is especially vulnerable to malware threats. According to a recent study by Juniper Networks (although in 2010), malware targeting Android constituted only 24% of all malware threats for mobile devices. At present, these threats account for 90% of all malware destined for mobile devices. The “open source” nature of the platform, which has been one of the main factors that have helped to boost the popularity of Android devices, has also made these devices the perfect target for malware creators.
The bulk of this malware focuses on generating income for criminals. More than 75% of this malicious software tries to induce users to send text messages to payment services and thus generate costs. According to Juniper, each of the attacks can generate 10 dollars of income for the attacker. So, if you take into account a large number of devices used, these types of attacks can be very lucrative for criminals.
However, not all malware is designed to generate an immediate flow of money for the criminal; some programs collect the user’s personal information, such as bank passwords, web browsing patterns or geographic location. This type of information can be used to steal directly from the user or can be sold to other criminals, who will use the data for other purposes.
Although all these risks may seem alarming, this does not mean that when using an Android mobile device you are exposing yourself to a security attack. With just a few simple steps and contacting app development companies, you can protect your device from most threats targeting Android devices and enjoy the entire mobile world without risking your information.
Make updates frequently
Updating mobile security software is not just a way to get improved features and performance. In fact, these updates often include many “back-end” revisions. Juniper suggests that devices that use the latest version of the operating system are immune to more than 75% of Android malware, so be sure to check for updates on a regular basis and download them as soon as possible.
Avoid third-party download sites
Thanks to the wide range of applications for Android, this platform is especially attractive for users. In addition, Android makes it relatively easy to install applications from other sources that are not the official app store. Although there are interesting applications that are not available on Play Store, by downloading some of these applications you can introduce malware to your device. Google analyzes all the applications on its official store in search of signs of malware and does not let the infected applications reach the consumers. However, third-party app stores do not have to rely on this level of protection, and malware creators know this. You should try as much as possible to avoid downloading these stores. You can download from the official web page of reputable companies that do not have their app on the Play Store.
Pay attention to permits
When installing a new app, most users click on the permission section without paying attention to the types of permissions they give to the application. However, checking the permissions that are requested can help you detect possible threats. If you download a game, you can expect the game to access your system files, but it would be suspicious if you also tried to access your text messages. Whenever you install an application, read the permission section before accepting the conditions. If the application requests permission to access any item that you do not think it needs to access, do not install it. A mobile app development company can help you with tools that will protect your information from hackers.
Avoid the use of free Wi-Fi networks
Everyone likes to enjoy something for free. Although a free and public Wi-Fi network can offer you an Internet connection for your device at no cost, these unsecured connections can be terrible for the privacy of your confidential information. For a hacker or a thief, it is very easy to connect to a free Wi-Fi network and see almost all the information you send over the Internet once you are both connected to it. For this reason, it is safer to use protected Wi-Fi connections or, if possible, use your device’s mobile connection instead of Wi-Fi.
Although the wide range of threats for Android devices can be intimidating, the first step to protect yourself is to be careful when using your mobile device or computer. However, downloading an effective Android security solution that keeps up with emerging mobile threats is the best way to stay protected.