Monday, November 25, 2013

Keeping Your Android Smartphone Secure

Technews has released an article outlining a few steps that Android users can take to prevent malware from affecting their phones.

The majority of users that are using Android devices are unaware of the potential security risks. Jupiter Research has said that it believes about 80% of smartphone users are not protected from possible breaches.

Some of the best steps to be taken include not downloading from untrusted sources. Android's more open ecosystem, while giving greater flexibility to users, also enables malicious websites to more easily load malware onto those devices. This is done through websites or links that look to be legitimate or known websites, but are 'faked'. It's always safer to stick to trusted sources like the Google Play store or Amazon for downloading apps. Even from trusted sites it's a good idea to pay attention to what the app asks to have permission to. Always make sure the request seems relevant to what the app would be for.

Reading app reviews can also alleviate this a bit. Make sure the app you're downloading does what it claims to do. There are a lot of fake apps out there for other well known apps. Make sure to cross check the app to make sure it's the from the right publisher and seems to be correct. 

Installing security software is another big step in securing your phone. There is anti-virus software available from different companies just like on your personal computer. Using a VPN service, like GoTrusted, will also mitigate redirects to malicious websites by so-called 'DNS poisoning' – which is a method that malware and malicious connections use to 'fake' your system into going to websites with similar/same looking names to legitimate websites. VPN services also prevent anyone snooping information off your connection if it were to ever be compromised due to malware or other malicious activity. 

All of these are good steps for users to take and keep in mind. Most people don't realize their phone can be just as vulnerable as their home computers, sometimes even more so because it's used in more places.