Tips for a Malware-Free Android Smartphone PDF Print E-mail

Since malware is increasingly rising for the Android platform day by day, you must pay firm attention to what is going on your phone or tablet. Smartphones are basically computers - and all PCs are at risk to viruses, phishing, including various attacks from malicious software.

Here are quick ways to keep your Android phone free of malware

Find out the app's publisher: What other apps does the publisher offer? Does the publisher run its own website? What are the kinds of apps on offer, do they look fishy? If so, you may probably consider staying away. Go through online reviews, but take note that Android Market reviews should not be fully trusted. Browse through to see what highly regarded websites like AppBrain, PCWorld, or AppLib are saying about such like app before you click on the download button.

Always authenticate app permissions: Before you download or update an app, you should see a list of consents for it. For example, an alarm clock app perhaps shouldn't need to look on your contacts. The general law of thumb: If an app is requesting for too much what it requires to do, then it's advisable to skip it.

Stay away from directly installing Android Package files (APKs): for example when Angry Birds came to Android initially, you could download it only by using a third-party app store and "sideloading" it, having the app installed by using an APK file. Even though Angry Birds wasn't malware, as a general rule it's not recommended downloading and installing APK files from third-party sites or app stores. Usually you won't notice what the file contains until you've finally installed the file - and by then it will be too late.

Have a malware and antivirus scanner installed on your phone:a number of different big-name security companies by now offer mobile-security solutions, which several of them are free. Antivirus apps for example the "Lookout Mobile Security" can scan your smartphone and be certain that no malware is installed. In addition, most of the utilities have features that allow you to trace your phone - and conceivably even remotely lock it and clean your personal data, if you'll end up losing the handset.

Watch out for scams:whether you agree, your Android phone is prone to malicious sites, phishing scams, which are driven by downloads, similar to PCs. Malicious sites regularly try to cheat people into entering sensitive personal information; even more frustrating, still, is some sites' ability to go ahead and automatically download malware right to your phone. Since most phones are small, hence the smaller screen; and users more likely to click a wary link on a phone than when browsing using a PC.

By now, you are probably used to protecting your computer from a wide variety of threats, but what about your phone? Most people rely on their mobile phones to communicate, socialize, work, store pictures and contacts. Mobile phones are also a portal for doing a range of online tasks like banking and shopping. However, most people don't protect their mobiles from the threat of malware.

This lack of action could be a mistake. Mobile threats - both offline and online - are prevalent and growing. With these threats growing it is important to consider a mobile security application for your mobile device.

Consider that people are 15 times more likely to lose their mobile phones than their laptops. In the U.S. alone, it's been estimated that 113 phones are lost every second, and 12,000 smartphones are found in airports each week. Additionally, losing your phone doesn't just mean losing the personal and confidential information stored on it, but also your ability to communicate.

What's more, losing your mobile phone could lead to identity theft if you have personally identifiable information stored on it, such as your date of birth or driver's license number, or if you have your phone's browser set to automatically log you in to banking and shopping sites.

Given that researchers found that almost a quarter of consumers store their computer or banking passwords on their mobile devices, and around 11% store personally identifiable information, and even credit card numbers, these risks are very real.

Beyond the risk of loss, mobile users should also be concerned with the growing amount of malware aimed at mobile devices, which is increasing exponentially. Mobile malware threats can be very similar to those directed at your computer. You could accidentally install a dangerous application that includes malicious code or spyware, or you could connect to an unsecure wireless network, allowing a cybercriminal to potentially access your information. You could also fall victim to a phishing attack that tricks you into handing over your personal information or financial details.

Given these risks, it's important to take steps to protect yourself. Antivirus software aimed specifically for mobiles is now available from leading digital security experts. These mobile security packages can backup and restore the information that's stored on your mobile as well as wipe all data if the phone is lost or stolen. This software will also block dangerous websites and prohibit you from clicking on harmful links.

 
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