Ransomware is malicious software that can lock you out of your Android device and the information it contains until you pay a bad guy money. While it’s best known for attacking PCs, ransomware like Simple Locker and Cyber Police attacks on Android devices are on the rise.
You don’t have to be a cyber security expert to fight ransomware on your Android device. However, you do need to practice good device hygiene.
Beyond running antivirus software on your Android device, here are three tips for fighting ransomware:
1 – Never Root or Jailbreak your Android Phone
Rooting or jailbreaking your Android phone are two main culprits cited by security experts as contributing to ransomware attacks on Android devices.
When you root or jailbreak an Android device, you are exploiting a security flaw in the Android OS to gain root access to your device. You are opening the door for ransomware and a whole lot of other nasties to infect your device via malicious links, infected apps, Android malware, and drive-by downloads.
In fact, many businesses block rooted or jailbroken devices from their corporate networks due to these heightened security risks.
If you’ve rooted or jailbroken your Android device, I advise you to unroot your device at the first possible opportunity.
2 – Update your Android Operating System
While you need a scorecard to track all the Android device vendors and the most current OS version for each device, one of your first lines of defense is always to run the latest and greatest Android version on your device.
Here’s refresher on how to update your Android operating system:
- Tap on the Settings app.
- Tap About phone or About tablet System.
- Tap System updates.
- Tap download if a prompt appears.
It’s easy to forget to update your device OS so just make it a habit especially if your Android device is just a phone and not a focal interest.
I put a reminder on my calendar to check for updates on my devices because I’ve let updates slide in the past.
3 – Back up your Android Device on a Regular Basis
If you have a backup of the data on your device, you aren’t at the complete mercy of the crook holding your device hostage. Here’s how to backup your Android device:
- Go to Settings.
- Tap Backup & reset.
- Turn on Back up my data. Your app data, WiFi settings, and other passwords will now back up to Google servers.
If you get hit with ransomware, you just need to do a hard reset on your device and then restore from your latest backup.
You against Ransomware
Just practicing good device hygiene with your Android device on a regular basis can go a long way to keeping ransomware at bay. If you make the tips in this post standard practices and habits in your mobility life, your devices and data will be less of a target for ransomware and other malicious attacks that target Android devices.
How do you fight ransomware on your Android device? Share your tips in the comments.