Android Operating System is the world’s most popular open source platform for Smartphone and about 99% of malware targets the Android devices. It appears hackers are taking advantage of Android’s popularity as well as its open source platform, as there has been an astonishing increase in security exploits involving mobile OS over the past years. With the number of Android Smartphone users increasing daily, the protection of personal and business data is most essential. With that in mind, follow the simple tips to make sure your Android device safe.
Cautiously install the apps
Always make use of Google Play store to download apps. Many of the dodgy apps are distributed through third party app stores rather than the Google’s official one. It is best to exercise your caution, when you happen to see a new version of the popular games. If something sets off the warning bells, then Google its title and check in the developer’s website to make sure its original. Regularly read the reviews before installing the apps and check the permissions that an app asks you before installing it.
Lock screen security
It is very important for the Android Smartphone user to get Device’s lock-screen settings sorted, so that if the Smartphone gets stolen, it will not be possible for the thief to access your personal data and apps. The majority of cell phones comes with basic security options such as setting a pin number to lock the device. There are some third-party apps available that take unusual and interesting spins on unlocking the screen. For example, the app gets you to unlock your phone by drawing points, circles or lines on any image you like.
Watch out for phishing
Your Android Smartphone security isn’t just about the security apps that you install on your device. Be always on your guard for phishing sites that tries to get your personal data and the details of credit card. Emails and text messages can also be the phishing methods.
On your Android device, combating phishing isn’t different from your computer. Some useful tips from Microsoft, Symantec and Citizens Advice Bureau will help you get up to speed and never tap on a link in a text message, sent from someone you don’t know.
Install a parental control app
If children are using your Android device, then you have to be extra cautious about the security of your phone. A number of companies are also trying to help parents with this challenge.
With the installation of parental control software, you can ensure children don’t install the apps that they shouldn’t or don’t compromise the data on a shared Android device.
Famigo, MMGuardian, Kids Place and Norton Family are the most popular four apps, which you can install on your Android and set time limits on child’s phone usage, and in some of the cases, addtime as a good behaviour reward.
Install anti-virus software
Mobile malware can drain your phone’s battery, render certain features of your phone non-functional and also delete your personal and business information. Other forms of malware can send mass messages without your permission and may also send infected files to all your contacts, make expensive calls, and turn your device into a camera or a recorder. So to avoid all this start evaluating smartphone security software and install them on your device. When you choose a anti-virus software for your Android device, look for its helpful features, ease of use and help & support it offers.
An Insight into the top two free Android security apps and what they do is given below:
This is a genuinely free app on the Android platform. Avast ! Security app offers an impressive range of tools. It has a Web shield which scans URLs for Malwares and provides antivirus protection. The app scans your device to provide details on the installed apps and what they are doing.
There are also additional tools in this package and the best is the anti-theft component. This feature is hidden and it allows you to control your Smartphone remotely using SMS. If your phone is stolen or lost, then you can remotely lock it, locate it and wipe the confidential data in it. Even USB debugging can be prevented. The app offers a comprehensive solution to theft.
Although this app is not on the top of the list in terms of malware detection, the extra functionalities it offers makes it still worth considering. The app is completely free, offers a complete protection for rooted devices and has a wide range of features. If you are looking for a safe browsing and your primary concern is malware, then this app could be the right choice for you.
This Free version of Security app is reported with a virtually flawless detection rate of 100% in the latest March 2014 report of AV-Test. The main focus with 360 Mobile Security is on firm detection and nullifying of threats in your device. It has very elegant and streamlined design. The app is completely free and extremely lightweight. It is also capable of detecting and fixing up the vulnerabilities of the device and idle background apps will be cleaned up to help your device run efficiently. There is tool to clear your history of usage and there’s a privacy advisor too. There is no anti-theft component and backup option in this app. If you are looking for a good blend of strong protection and usability, 360 Mobile Security is the best option for you. The app is bound to appeal you if your concern is about the smooth performance than the extra features.
It is an interesting fact to know that 18 apps out of 31 apps tested by AV-Test in March 2014 scored a detection rate of 100 % and this figure clearly shows how much security software platform is improving. If you are looking for any other picks of Antivirus software, then McAfee Antivirus & Security, Trend Micro Mobile Security & Antivirus, and TrustGo Antivirus & Mobile Security are some of the other free versions that are worth to look at. They all have scored 100 % detection rate.
The security vendors argue that you need protection on your Android device. However, Google argue against the need, and it claims that vendors are trying to drum up their business. But finally, if you want your device to be secure, the better option is to install the right app and be safe.