Malicious software or Malware is the most common threat to mobile devices. The rise in Smartphones and the host of apps that can be downloaded to spruce up the smartphone is one of the best possible sources of infection. As we have often associated virus attacks with our computers, we seldom consider the possibility of malware affecting our dear little Smartphone. Come on, isn’t that something we use only to make phone calls and send text messages? Wait a minute. Have you forgotten the countless apps you have downloaded into your phone. If your phone is on the Internet, it is as susceptible to a virus attack as anything else.
In 2013, research revealed that the popular operating system, Android, is found to be installed in almost 204.4 million Smartphones. Cybercriminals have caught on to this huge user base and have unleashed malware to obtain personal information illegally. In fact the most widespread impact of malware attacks across platforms are felt on intrusion of user privacy and short message fraud.
The smart phone user base, happily unaware of these possibilities, has left their devices practically unprotected. Research has revealed that only 5% of the Smartphone users have some sort of anti-virus programs installed on their device. This is appalling considering the massive adoption rate of smartphones perceived in the recent years.
However, it also needs to be emphasized that though an antivirus may be an effective protection from Malware attacks, it is not the only solution. There are numerous options made available that you need to consider in order to protect your device from the heinous assault of cyber criminals.
Here are 8 things you should take note of to stay protected:
1. Beware of fake apps even on Play Store
On the Play Store, there are loads of fake apps designed with the intention of infecting your device and stealing your private information. Some apps are designed only to push ads to you smartphone. As a matter of fact, most popular apps often have similar ones that are actually fakes. You should be careful with these sort of apps.
2. Download only from official stores
While downloading apps may have become an obsession for you, it is crucial to realize the importance of approaching trusted and legal sources for this. App stores like Google Play, Amazon and Samsung are the most trusted in the Android market. This is not only owing to their brand value, but also because they follow the best practices to monitor and scan all potentially fraudulent programs before putting them on the shelf.
Mistakes do occur and some apps containing malwares (and adwares at times) may be found in these stores but they’re are quickly removed in most cases.
3. Avoid pirated apps
If you love cracks and pirated apps, your device may become infected without you even knowing it. Pirated apps most often carry Malware strands. Besides, you’re not helping the developers who work hard trying to create these games and apps.
4. Porn is the most efficient source of malware delivery
I’m in no position to judge you or tell you what to do with your device but it has been proven that pornographic sites are the most efficient when it comes to infecting your device with malwares. Well, you know what to do… be careful with sites you visit.
5. Avoid Apps that talk big
Avoid all Apps that make big promises and have bad reviews.These are always potential sources of Malware attacks. Before downloading anything, be sure you read what users say about it. I often judge the quality of an app based on users feddback. Read up everything you can before you download the app.
6. Rooted devices are more susceptible
Most advanced users choose to root their devices, giving apps root access. This means the your apps can get access to whatever it wants once you grant the app super user privilege. Extra care should be taken when using a rooted android device and be careful with apps you grant super user permission.
7. Install an antivirus
There are different antivirus programs available and installing one shouldn’t be that hard. Avast, AVG, Kapersky, Webroot and many others have a mobile version you can use on your smartphone (especially Android).
8. Stay updated
Be on your toes so far as updates are concerned. This is one way in which manufacturers and carriers ensure that you remain protected from Malware attacks. These updates can include enhancements, bug fixes, new features each of which are designed to keep your system in tune with the right way to tackle the malicious attacks.
Apart from updating your apps, be sure your device operating system is also up to date.