Android Security, Tips and tricks for protecting your phone
The last time online scams, malware and hack attacks were reserved solely for our personal computers, Microsoft came out with an operating system which got positive reviews (probably the worst part of that joke is the fact that I still use Windows). Reports say that malware attacks on platforms that run on Android, Google’s free operating system, increased by 35% only in the last couple of months. So if you’re still feeling cozy about your mobile devices’ security, now is the time to stop. Although the fact that we now use our phones to manage virtually every aspect of our lives makes it a very tempting target for cyber criminals, we are not left without tools to defend ourselves. Here are several things you should consider doing as soon as you can to protect your phone from any sort of unauthorized access:
First, pay close attention to those app permissions. Each time that you install a new application, you’ll get a pop-up that notifies you of all the different aspects of your device the app is supposed to have access to, in order to properly function. Although most people pay as much attention to these as they do with Terms of Service Agreements, it might pay off to ask yourself why a stopwatch app you just installed has to gain access to services that might cost you money in the end. New versions of Android are trying to make understanding these permissions a bit easier, so be on the lookout for apps that ask access to stuff they really should have no reason to have access to.
Next, don’t stray away from the Play Store. Although there have been cases of the Store hosting malicious apps before, the chance of contracting malware is way higher if you experiment with downloading apps from unknown websites. There are several third-party app stores that have gained reputation as secure, sites like F-Droid, but if you want to minimize your exposure to harmful software, Google Play store is still your best bet.
And finally, if you want that extra layer of protection, how about installing a security suite on your Android phone? There are thousands of security tools you can currently browse through in the Play Store, some of them developed by PC-centric companies like Norton. Apps like TrustGo or Lookout Mobile Security are among the better choices, not only alerting you of intrusions but also allowing you to back up your phone, or find, lock and wipe your phone from afar in case it’s been stolen or lost.