Hackers never rest! Everyday they find new ways to trick you and ruin your life. Already the PC market is filled with malware. Now, the mobile market is growing and that means, it’s going to become one prime target for malware! So, can android phones get viruses? Yes they can and we are going to see how to protect your Android device from these pests…
1. First of all, install an Anti Virus :
Many people laugh at us when we tell them to install an Anti Virus. People still think its optional. But it’s not. Apple claimed their Mac OSX is impenetrable. No virus can attack it! But recently, a huge number of OSX machines got attacked by a single virus. Same thing can happen for Android. Already there are malware apps even in the Play Store. So, it’s better to put up your defences now. Install a well reputed anti-virus app like Kaspersky or Avast. Check these Android Antivirus test results before you choose. You have to do it before you do anything else! (even before the samsung galaxy s2 first charge)
2. Always use the Google Play to download apps and turn off app installation from unknown sources :
Earlier, Google didn’t check the apps you submit into their store for malware behaviours. But now they have started to follow some strict rules. So, its better to install apps only from the Google Play. Normally, there are two ways in which you can install apps in an Android device. Through Google Play or by manually downloading the apk file from a third-party website. Manually downloading is dangerous. Google Play have some control but how can we say whether the other sites are distributing a false malware app? So, always stick to Google Play and turn off “Allow installation of non-Market applications” (Unknown Sources) feature. In Android 2.3, its under Settings > Application settings > Unknown Sources. In Android 4.0 (not sure) and 4.1, its under Settings > Security > Unknown sources.
3. Apps with the tags EDITORS’ CHOICE and TOP DEVELOPER are the best :
These are well-recognized apps released by well-known developers and reviewed by Google. So, better to go with these apps as much as you can. But unfortunately, the majority apps are not yet tagged!
4. Check the ratings and the number of installs before downloading an app :
In the app information screen, always check details like Ratings and Installs. Go with highly rated apps. Below the app details, you’ll see more details on ratings. If the app have more negative ratings than 5 start ratings, never even touch it. Also read the reviews right below it. Next check the Installs chart on the right side of the screen. It’ll tell you how well the app is going. If there’s a sudden drop in Installs recently, that means the app have a problem. So, keep your eyes open.
5. Always check the Permissions :
When installing an app, the Play Store will show you what permissions the app will receive. How much data can it collect about us… What will it collect… What changes can it do to my device… These things are very important. Do not install any apps which ask for too many permissions. Also use your head and think… Does this app really need to perform this task on my device?
6. Be-careful when rooting and installing a custom rom :
Root your device only if you know what you are doing. Only follow instructions from well-known sources like the Cyanogenmod Wiki, and the XDA Developers (In the forum, go for sticky posts and check the reputation of the one who posted it).
Always choose well reputed ROMs like CyanogenMod. CM is built and maintained by a well reputed community and they think about our security really well. (I’ll tell you about it in the next tip)
7. If you install CyanogenMod 9 (or above), don’t forget to disable root access :
Root access can greatly reduce the security of your device because an app with root privileges can do anything in your device! In the latest CyanogenMod builds, you can safely turn it off! Here’s how to do it : CyanogenMod 9 and 10 : Disable Root Access for Better Security!
8. Keep all your apps and the Android system updated :
Sometimes, the developers release updates to patch security issues in their apps. Like that, Android system updates are also important. If your system give any update notifications, apply them! If you have a rooted device, you might want to check the ROM’s website for updates.
8 tips… That’s enough for today! If you have more tips like this, don’t forget to share them. We’ll keep this post updated with your tips. So, what do you think? Isn’t it the time to think more about security than weeping after you get caught to a malware?