Some Android related security tips
May 25, 2013 2 Comments
As sales of Android have skyrocketed over the last year, here are some safety tips if you are using an Android based smartphone or intend on getting one.
- Install the latest updates for your Android. The updates will generally include patches to vulnerabilities as well as better security options.
- Before installing an application, do some research to verify the version is current and legitimate.
- Before installing an application, review the permissions that the applications want access to [i.e. why does it need my contacts when it is a game].
- If you are using Android OS version 4.1.2 or later, go to the Settings menu, look at the Security section and make sure that Unknown sources (or Allow installation of apps from unknown sources) is not checked. When not checked, this will prevent the piggybacking of applications which can covertly install as you are browsing the web.
- Always lock the smartphone when not in use.
- Although not the most convenient, never store passwords [automatically]. A malicious application can capitalize on it or if the smartphone is unlocked, they can access areas where you want to be more secure [i.e. Google Wallet, Email, etc.].
- Make sure you are careful when receiving Emails with links or web sites and watch out for screens that want you to agree to something.
- Install an anti-malware applications. Popular free [but less featured] applications include those from Norton, Avast and Zoner. Other security companies such as Kaspersky also offer non-free applications. Most free versions also have a full paid version.
- Make sure your anti-malware application can warn you if you navigate to an unsafe web site.
- Be on the lookout if you notice that you are using more battery power than usual. In most [but not all] cases, it is generally buggy software but some could be for other reasons.
- Be on the lookout if you are noticing more bandwidth than usual [especially uploading]. Monitoring tools may depend on your Android version.
- Just like Windows, malware can harm your system. But unlike Windows, it may be harder to correct the problem. So backup your data often and be prepared to wipe and re-install the Android OS.
- Rooted Android [just like any other OS] can also reduce the security of the OS. You mayu have to be extra careful when installing an application, navigating web sites, etc.
Have any more tips? Add them in the comment section.