The year isn’t even out and already mobile security experts Trend Micro have identified more than 1 million malware, viruses, and other threats released on unsuspecting users of smartphones with the Android operating system.
Image source play.google.com
These threats pose great danger to personal and financial security, as well as privacy, because they can:
- Collect text messages, voicemails, and contact lists
- Log keystrokes to determine passwords
- Record from the microphone and take photos
- Make phone calls
- And much more
Some of this malware can cost you immediately too. Some malicious program hijack phones to send premium text messages – at an average cost of $10 per affected device.
But you can do something do something about it. Here are four ways you can protect yourself from the increasing danger from Android malware:
Make Sure You Have the Latest Version of Android
Yes, waiting for your phone to download the latest operating system update can be inconvenient. But you should definitely upgrade your operating system regularly. Security does improve with each new version – at least protecting you from previously identified threats.
Install Apps Only From Reputable Sources
Although the Google Play marketplace has not totally eliminated hackers who manage to offer malicious apps for download to unsuspecting users, it is safer than third-party app stores. A recent study found that more than 500 of these “unofficial” app stores had malicious apps.
Often these dangerous programs will look identical to legitimate apps. Yet, running in the background are programs that serve adware that clogs up your processor and slows down your phone… send premium text messages at cost to you… steal your contacts and log in info… and much more.
So stick to the Google Play store… and still watch your back.
Watch Out for Apps that Ask for Unusual Permissions
When you download an app and are installing it make sure the permissions it asks for match its purpose. If it doesn’t, that could be a sign that it’s malware. For example, a game shouldn’t need access to your contacts…or be able to send a text.
Install Anti-Malware Software or App
This is really the only nearly fool-proof way of protecting yourself.
If you already suspect your phone might be “hacked,” an anti-malware program will scan your device and eliminate the threat. And it will protect you in the future by alerting you to anything you’re trying to download that doesn’t look right.
A very effective app, recently-upgraded to catch even more malware and virus threats, is Secure AntiVirus for Android!. The app was created by business partners who are passionate about getting the word out about the little-known – but very widespread and dangerous – threat to Android users in the form of malware and viruses. More about Secure AntiVirus for Android! here: www.demandapps.net/info.php
By Jason Holland