There doesn’t seem to be a week that goes by nowadays without a data security breach on an Android phone. Are ‘they’ listening in to your calls? Are hackers stealing your data? Whose getting hold of your bank details? And just how scared should we be about these strange malware bots that seem to be popping up all over the net… Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with everything that you need to know – and do – to protect your precious Android device.
Recent Android Security Breaches
The news has been full of them – with Desert Scorpion and ViperRat just two of the malware bugs that were released onto Android Phones. These malware bugs released cutting-edge surveillance tools onto user’s phones without them even knowing – pushing up the paranoia factor even higher!
How fast does Android react to security bugs?
Again, surveys and news leaks have shown that Android hasn’t always been that fast to react to security flaws and necessary software upgrades haven’t always happened on time – meaning that some Android devices are vulnerable from the minute they are switched on for the first time. Part of the problem occurs where open-source coding is used for apps, but whatever the driver behind security breaches, the fact is that they keep occurring – and the hackers keep getting smarter.
Can you use Android devices safely?
The good news is that you can use your Android phone safely if you follow good practices and protocols. Many of these apply across different digital devices, so get your security in place and you can enjoy a safer online experience overall.
How to help secure your Android device
1. Use a VPN
A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, provides a secure digital tunnel through which your data travels in an encrypted form. At the same time, your location is masked by using one of the VPN’s alternate servers, meaning that you can operate online in a wholly confidential manner, as though you were never there in the first place.
VPNs are very cheap – just a few pounds a month in most cases – and you can secure multiple devices at once. They all offer different features and other benefits, such as being able to use public wifi safely and to be able to access geo-locked content, such as Netflix USA from the UK or censored content from behind the Great Firewall of China.
We regularly review the top rated VPNs for Androids so that you don’t have to!
2. Add a password to protect your screen
Go to your Android settings and get that password code requirement added in fast. It’s a simple but essential step that keeps your phone a little safer. This step is entirely effortless, yet research suggests that a third of us don’t botAntivirusit!
3. Get your anti-virus apps in place
Antivirus apps will regularly clean up your phone and protect it from any malware. 360 Security and Avira are just two examples, and they also have features that optimize the speed of your phone, preserve the battery life and carry out housekeeping to remove any files that are just taking up space for no reason.
4. Get a security app in place
If your phone falls into the wrong hands, a security app will allow you to disable it remotely and track its location. Some of the best known include Cerberus, Find My Phone and Avast! Anti-Theft. They use GPS to hunt the device down, allow you to remotely set a lock password and also to disable any data that you don’t want to fall into the wrong hands.
5. Watch those apps
Be very careful when you download an app and check the permissions that you allow very carefully. Only download tried and tested apps from reputable developers and those which have plenty of favorable reviews from genuine review sites.
Only allow the minimum of permissions, noting that some fake apps have simply been malware designed to spy on user data in the past. Don’t fall into that trap and always be wary.
6. Do your digital housekeeping
Spend some time working through your phone settings and remove any settings that simply don’t need to be granted. Lockdown permissions on your social media accounts, avoid sharing and reading of data, turn off push notifications and location data and just be comfortable with every degree of access that you provide to your Android phone.
7. Be smart
It’s too easy to open a strange looking email when you’re in a rush on your phone. If you aren’t sure what something is that you’ve been sent, wait until you can get to a desktop and analyze it further before deciding whether or not to open it. If you are unsure, simply don’t do it at all! You could easily become the victim of a phishing scam or release malware onto your device.
Take a few minutes to get these simple steps in place and you can enjoy a safer Android experience, without the risk of getting attacked by that next piece of vile malware!
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