You may be aware that the Android platform is the most targeted phone system in the world for malware and viruses.
This being true, there are steps you can take to ensure that your sensitive information remains safe and secure. As long as you are conscientious about your activities, you should be able to cut down on your potential for data breach and data loss significantly.
1. Check New Apps Thoroughly
Applications can be popular without being safe. Recent studies have shown that some of the 500 most popular applications contain malware or viruses. When installing new applications always check the reviews for the application to ensure that it is legitimate. Also, search for the product online to see if there have been reports of suspicious behavior. Free applications are more likely to contain malicious code; try to avoid installing applications that have not been thoroughly tested.
2. Review Your Bills
Some of the more insidious apps operate by charging your account without your knowledge. Consumers that don’t check their bills regularly may never identify these illicit charges, and thus they may never recognize that there is a dangerous installed application on their device. Reading through your bill is always a good idea even if your system isn’t infected, as you can sometimes catch mistakes. Text messages are the biggest area for this type of scam. Don’t be afraid to call your service provider regarding any unauthorized text messaging charges. If you do find any of these messages, it’s important to isolate and remove the responsible application immediately.
3. Only Connect to Secured Wi-Fi
Insecure wireless internet activity can be very dangerous for mobile phones, tablets and even personal computers. You should always make sure that your wireless internet connection is using the right protocols to secure itself. Otherwise, it is safer to use your regular data plan (3G/4G/LTE). Wireless networks that don’t require a password can be a breeding ground for data theft. However, having a password does not indicate the wireless network is safe. Avoid sensitive online activity, such as online banking, when using public Wi-Fi.
4. Keep Passwords Elsewhere
If you connect to email accounts, financial accounts or other important systems through your phone, you should always make sure that you have to log in every time and that your passwords are not kept anywhere on the device. If your email accounts or other accounts automatically log in anyone who can access your phone will be able to get to your personal data. This is also true if you write your passwords down somewhere on your phone. Try to avoid connecting to work accounts on your phone, as this leads to additional security concerns.
5. Always Lock and Protect Your Phone
Despite the incredible importance of personal data, many people still do not use a lock screen to protect their mobile device. Locking your phone is extremely important, especially if it contains sensitive information. Install a remote wiping application on the device to prevent data loss in the event the device is lost or stolen; keep in mind this must be done prior to losing the device. Every time you get a new phone you should always set a pass code and install an app that can be used to remotely delete sensitive information.
Unfortunately, regardless of how careful you are there is always the chance that something could happen. With hundreds of dangerous applications and exploits available throughout the globe, it is very difficult to catch everything. If you have important personal or work information on your phone, it’s always best to maintain multiple backup copies of your data and to remain vigilant. Absolutely make sure that you keep your applications and operating system up to date to make sure your Android device is safe and secure.
|James Green is a security researcher for Android antivirus company Armor for Android. James has worked in the Android security field for several years and provides privacy and security advice to Android users. (https://twitter.com/James_AFA)|