Android smartphones are not only innovative but offer tremendous utilitarian values. But, the use of these phones undeniably entails some serious security risks – which you can ill-afford to overlook. Always be conscious of the enormous power you hold in your hand as the phone is also a computer. Thus, you will have to take the same precautions as you would for a personal computer.
Here are six easy tips to keep your Android phone safe.
1. As an Android user, you need to be guarded when downloading/installing apps. Please make sure the apps are from an authentic source and not suspicious. Bear in mind that all apps may appear promising but not all of them are safe. When it comes to downloading and installing an app, you have to make sure it is coming from a well-recognized developer.
2. You do have the option of installing Android apps and games from sources other than Google Play. The plain truth is that many third-party app stores are unsafe. If you opt to download an APK file and install it yourself, you could be inadvertently introducing malware on your phone. You are well-advised not to install these unless you are certain it is safe. If you need to sideload an app for your work, then you can certainly tick the Unknown sources box to allow installation to go on and then disable it again. Just ensure that it is off by default to prevent you from inadvertently installing something suspicious.
3. Never respond to text messages coming from unfamiliar and suspicious sources. Text messages from unknown sources are best deleted as there is every possibility of malware. Please also remember that urgent fake messages that your phone is virus-infected are sent by mischief-mongers.
4. Make it a point to update your phone’s software as frequently as possible. If you keep the operating system updated, you will minimize security risks. The Android phone is expected to alert you when an update is ready and available. However, check updates before installing. Android updates are invariably done aerially and hence get connected to your Wi-Fi or mobile network before undertaking updates.
5. Storage in the “cloud” is indeed an excellent way to save memory space on your phone, but choose it wisely. Avoid setting up with a variety of features — however tempting. Make sure to back up your data and add a remote-wipe feature. The fact remains you phone can be stolen or lost but there is no urgency press the panic button. The remote-wipe feature will erase all sensitive data. Unfortunately, Android phones have no buily-in features like Backup and Remote Wipe. So, choose third-party software from reliable source.
6. More importantly, avoid doing business transactions over your Android phone. Your credit card data, bank account details and other personal sensitive information will travel over the air leading to serious problems. It may be more convenient to do business over your phone, but as the saying goes “it’s better to be safe than sorry”. The safest course is to encrypt your data. By adding encryption, you give your data security a fighting chance.
7. And last but not least, install an antivirus application on your phone. Relying on a good old antivirus to protect you while accessing the internet is becoming increasingly more common on handheld devices. You could, for example, go for a highly reputed product like BitDefender Mobile Security from renowned online security company BitDefender Antivirus. This little app comes with a suite of perks especially designed for mobile phones, such as Anti-Theft and Privacy Advisor (which lets you in on what other apps do you with personal info).