News of malware attacks on android devices recently caught fire with the outbreak of DroidDream; one of the most sophisticated forms of mobile viruses. Resources reveal that applications available on Google’s android market also seem to have virus bugs. These otherwise underestimated virus problems can sometimes cause serious information thefts.
Malwares can gain access to a device’s root making all your data available for the developer. If you ever experience your device turning off and on unexpectedly, or sending unauthorized messages to your contacts, you should know it is infected with a deadly virus. Keeping your device protected from such threats is a must. Given below are the top 8 tips to safeguard your loved devices.
1. Trust the source not the application
Malware developers can sometimes replicate original applications making slight changes (embedding virus), and re-post them on android market. Make it a principle to download applications only from trusted sources. Try downloading apps only from legitimate sources that you know about; if you come across a new company, research about it. Don’t misjudge an app for its honorable android logo; even infected applications use the original one.
2. Install the latest OS patch
In the recent malware scare of DroidDream, hackers were able to find a loop hole in old android OS version, which was otherwise patched in the latest. It is strongly recommended by android developers to install the latest OS patch as soon as it is available. How would you come to know about the latest version? It’s simple: upgrade your device as soon as you are notified to install the latest OS update.
3. Pay attention while installing an app
The device prompts you before an app can access your information. If an app seeks irrelevant information such as a game asking to allow access to your phone book, quit the installation and recheck the source.
4. Lock your android with a password
Information theft can also take place by hacking through physical possession of your device. You device may be in safe surroundings but what if you leave it in a cafe or drop it in the subway. Always lock your device with a password; you can also use advanced protection such as a fingerprint lock. If you have sensitive information in your device, always keep it protected.
5. Beware; it’s public wi-fi
Public wi-fi is definitely very convenient, but avoid accessing sensitive personal information through it. Any potential hacker can access the same network for free if you can; posing your device at threat. Take extra precautions while using banking applications.
6. Avoid installing APKs
APK refers to bundled components in a single package for android devices. An android package file has a higher probability of having malwares than normal applications. Avoid installing APKs whenever possible.
7. Read online reviews
The best way to research an application’s authenticity is through its online reviews. A legitimate app would always have review posts; and the common threats might also be informed online.
8. Install security software
This might not be a necessity if you take other precautions; but nonetheless, it can provide premium security for your device. “Lookout”, a premium security app (also available free with less features) can provide maximum safety for your android with other benefits such as scanning every app before you install it. You can also consider other security packages such as Symantec, McAfee, Norton etc.