A recent survey shows that Android is used by 1.5 billion people. This is a big number for an operating system. Its popularity unfortunately also attracts a specific set of people. Indeed, hackers have started giving a special attention to the Android pool. Security companies like Kaspersky and Bitdefender are seeing an all time rise on hacking attempts and smartphone malware, a problem that did not exist only a few years ago. In this write-up, I will share with you some tips and tricks so as to help protect your smartphone and your identity from harms way.
– Trusted Apps
The first thing to do is to download only trusted apps. Those are apps found only on Google Play store. Google tests and certifies apps on their store before they showcase it. They take security seriously, obviously.
– Observe due diligence with APK
APK are android applications that you can install directly on your Android device. They are the equivalent of what .EXE is for Windows OS. If you download a lot of application on your smartphone, it comes to a point that you realize that Google Play has fairly limited apps in terms of functionality. The store has mostly apps of a commercial nature, and while it offers extremely good apps, make no mistake, many apps on this store, sooner or later, will try to sell you something. Or they simply have intrusive advertising you do not want.
To install an APK, you will need to root your phone, which in essence removes the security features Google has set in place when installing apps. Some apps have a certain nature that is not allowed in the Play store. For example, torrent apps or adult content apps. This does not mean that they are not safe. It’s just that their theme is for a different audience as Play store is a family-safe store.
With a rooted phone, you can now install ANY app directly on your smartphone. At this point, you will need to observe due diligence on the APK that you download. Not all APK are trusted. You need to read reviews from downloaders first.
– Torrent Apps
If you stream a lot of movies and TV shows on your smartphone, then go with reputable apps like uTorrent and ShowBox instead of lesser known applications. Install the showbox APK from the official site only.
– Install an Anti-Virus
It is important to install an Anti-Virus on your smartphone. This is especially important if you download a lot of apps. The only caveat is that it makes your smartphone a little bit slower. But a non-issue for those lucky enough to have the latest generation Android devices, since they are so fast that you will not notice a difference. Kaspersky, Bit defender, Norton and Avast are good anti-virus apps that do not consume a lot of resources.
– Protect your Identity
Your smartphone contains more personal information about you than anything else. This makes smartphones a target for online identity thieves. Anti-Virus apps normally have an option for identity protection, but if your favorite app does not come with this functionality, you will need to install one separately. I personally use Comodo Anti-Theft. It’s a great app.
At the end of the day, your security is above anything else. By following those simple tips, you can protect you and your smartphone from a whole world of pain.