Android Security – Why You Should Care

All the way back, decades ago, the internet was founded. With it came a lot of services. The services we wouldn’t be able to live without today.

Fast forward to today, most of these services can be found on mobile phones running Android or iOS. One of the major issues that keeps popping up even today is security.

While the web version of the internet is E2E encrypted and secured, OSes like Android suffer the most. Today, we will be talking about Android security, and how it might affect you.

Mobile Security

Biggest Android Security Issue

The big thing that differentiates Android from OSes like iOS is the way it is open to all. Anyone can modify system files, push out third-party updates, and Google wouldn’t send FBI forces to your home.

While we could talk about the zillion other advantages that Android has being open-source, the cause for the issue remains the same. Since it is an open-source development project, Android security is an endangered talk in this realm.

We often see geeks (like us) talking about installing APKs all day long. These files are nothing but applications released by any third-party source, and it takes a leap of faith to determine whether it is a decoy or not. Most of the Android users are affected using the simplest method, allowing Unknown Sources from the Settings app.

If you want to be cautious about your incremental data stored on your device, then you better hop into Settings > Security, and then disable the Unknown Sources option.

Android Security

While the Google Play Store isn’t as secure as the Apple App Store, it is still recommended that you stick to it. Google thoroughly inspects applications as well. Within the past years, Android security has increased, The amount of bloatware and Android malware has significantly decreased.

Long story short, installing applications from unknown sources might affect your data big time. There are applications wanting to read all of your text messages, and access your contacts.

Layers of Defense

Okay, so you’re now cautious about not installing malware. Good. But did you know that Android applications aren’t as refined as the ones found on iOS? Well, the next time you see a pop-up ad, you better “x” it away, since it automatically might download bloatware which causes further issues.

Now that you’re well aware of not installing decoys as such, you will be fascinated as to just how many ways there are to infect an Android device.

Following is a list of the best dos and don’ts, that you must follow in order to stay away from threats.

1. Two-Factor Authentication Security

Since passwords are the easiest ways to hack into your accounts, you might want to create a strong password, one that contains special characters, numbers and a combination of upper and lower case alphabets.

In addition to that, you might also want to enable two-factor authentication, which acts as a shield to protect your account even when hacked.

2. Stay Up To Date

Never ignore any new software update you see on your Android device. With the release of Android Marshmallow, Google is more alert than ever, and is consistent in releasing new security patches every week to keep your device away from the already known malware.

Security Settings3. Don’t Trust Open Networks

Whether you’re in a trusted coffee shop or not, you should always try to keep your device away from being connected to public hotspots. Since the internet is the easiest way of initializing hacks, people can easily do so using devices connected to the same network.

Even if you’re connected to a network you trust, it is always good to have a VPN alongside you.

4. Keep An Eye On App Permissions

The beauty about Android is that you can control individual app permissions for each application.

For example, you trust Twitter with your information, but you would like to restrict it from using your camera. Bam! You can easily do so.

Also, it is a good habit to keep an eye on those app permissions. If you find a game on the Play Store, which asks for personal information alongside a billion other allowances, you probably should keep away from it.

5. Use Google Services Often

Believe it or not, Google services allow you to stay connected over the air, ensuring that the probability of a theft stays low.

Google’s Device Assist is a great tool to keep your Android device connected. If you happen to lose it, you will still have full control over it (you can even ring or factory reset it). One advantage of keeping it online is that you can track your Android device using the GPS functionality built in.

Lost Android

That’s it for the basic dos and don’ts about Android security. Vulnerability to Android security is the reason why we see so many new security patch updates. We also have noticed that applications like WhatsApp are now End to End (E2E) encrypted.

At the end of the day, if you are sure which services you are using on your Android device, you should have no problems. I hope this article made you care about Android security. Any queries will be cleared down in the comments section.

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Author: Usama Mujtaba

Ex Farmviller | Android Fanatic | Software Engineer. Founder - TechBeasts.com

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