Smartphones & Tablets

Protect your Android Devices from Malware and Hackers

It's Malware Season For Android
Written by Chinmay Rastogi

The number of people who use a cell phone sky-rockets year after year. Each year it seems like it would be impossible for the sales to be as high as the current year, but the sale of smartphones not only match those of each year but surpass it quite comfortably. The reach of smartphones today knows no bounds as people all over the world have access to this piece of technology.

The most used platform on smartphones by a long distance is Android. As of 2013, more than 80% of the smartphones in the markets were running on Android platform. The staggering increase in each year’s smartphones sales is a sign of technological outsourcing at its best, but it also opens the doors for hackers and attackers to snoop around and find newer ways to cause trouble. Since Android is the most used platform in smartphones, hackers and attackers generally attack it.

Need to Protect your Android Devices from Malware and Hackers

BitDefender’s senior e-threat analyst Bogdan Botezatu revealed that it is getting increasingly dangerous for Android users to protect their data and identity from attackers because there is no coding required to affect Android devices with malware.

The ease of attack, the immense potential due to the enormous market of Android, as well as peoples’ carelessness and lack of awareness makes attacking Android devices a simple task for attackers. Studies also claim that only 5% of the total users in the world install some kind of an app like an antivirus for their phones. People fail to see their smartphones as mini-computers which are at an equal risk as their desktops and laptops, if not more.

Hackers can gain access to the phones via messages, call interception, etc. to steal some personal information or monitor calls. Here we first discuss simple methods apart from installing anti-virus that can make the difference in preventing your android device from malware and hackers:

  1. Use only legitimate applications from the official app stores of your manufacturer or service provider. These app stores always check the applications they host for viruses and spyware before putting them up for downloads. Although there lies the slim chance that some unwanted application might pass this test, it is better to go for applications from official stores.
  2. Scan any and all applications that you download on your android device. Androids running on version2.2 or higher have a built in feature from Google where all downloaded apps are automatically scanned for viruses and malware. This is a good method to keep your data secure, and is used by most secure cell phones. You should also try and refrain from using pirated apps, as they are the most common backdoors for attackers into your device.
  3. Always download software updates. These are brought out by Google and the manufacturers to tweak your device’s ability to protect itself from attackers and hackers.

Besides these, you can go for an antivirus app from the Play Store. Many applications like BitDefender, Dr. Webb etc. are available which aim to prevent your privacy and offer security.

Lookout mobile security is another good option for Android users. When it first outlined the vulnerabilities in devices back in 2007, it opened everyone’s eyes to the reality of the situation. The antivirus offers great malware and theft protection. However, most Lookout Antivirus reviews state that the software falls short in providing good privacy protection to the users, something other software can do.

Conclusion

The number of cell phone users will go on increasing. With the increase in demand, the increase in sophistication of their technology will follow. But given the ease of breaching their security, it is vital that users take necessary steps to protect you Android devices from malware and hackers to keep the sensitive data on their phones safe and secure.

About the author

Chinmay Rastogi

Chinmay is an engineering student currently pursuing his final year in Computer Science and Engineering at Manipal Institute of Technology. Born in 1994 and hailing from Jaipur, he has been writing web content and articles regularly for many websites. An avid reader and music enthusiast, nothing captivates him more than a beautiful combination of words, and that's what he strive to achieve. He is also the author of the 2015 fiction novel Chasing Sanity.

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