Malicious software called Android malware is specifically designed to attack Android devices. The primary goal of this type of malware is to harm the user’s device and steal their data, just like any other form of malware.
As we become more reliant on Android devices for communication, work, and entertainment, we must consider the security and privacy of the personal and sensitive information we store.
Unfortunately, Android devices are often viewed sceptically due to their susceptibility to hacking and malware attacks.
Recently, multiple instances of Android malware, such as AbstractEmu, have been discovered by Lookout Threat Labs. This article will explore five ways to protect your Android device from malware and ensure optimal security.
How Do Android Devices Get Malware?
There are various ways that malware can infect your Android device, and one of them is through fake domains. Cybercriminals often create fake Google Play domains that trick users into downloading malicious apps.
These apps can bypass Google’s security checks and are challenging to identify, allowing them to steal sensitive data or hijack your device easily.
One example is the Joker malware, which has recently resurfaced and infected at least 14 Android apps, stealing money from its victims. This malware had already been downloaded over 500,000 times before being removed from the Play Store.
When downloading apps that ask for access to your contact list, gallery, or other personal information, it’s essential to be careful. If an app asks for unusual permissions that don’t make sense, it may be malicious and could infect your device with malware.
So, always be vigilant and pay attention to the permissions an app is requesting.
Effective Ways To Prevent Your Android Phone from Malware
The number of new Android malware samples discovered in March 2020 alone was 482,579. As a result, Android users are increasingly seeking ways to safeguard their phones from malicious attacks. Here are some valuable tips and tricks to help you avoid falling victim to Android malware:
1. Download Apps from Trusted Sources
To prevent malware from infecting your Android device, For safety reasons, it’s recommended to download apps only from trustworthy sources like the Google Play Store. Google’s strict security measures help identify and eliminate harmful apps, minimizing the risk of downloading malware.
Avoid downloading apps from third-party websites, as these apps may not undergo the same level of scrutiny and could leave your device vulnerable to malware.
2. Keep Your Device Updated
It is crucial to ensure that the software on your device is up-to-date for accessing new features and protecting your device from potential security threats. Android updates frequently address security vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit to introduce malware.
It is vital to regularly update your device’s operating system, apps, and security software to ensure that you have the latest protection against potential malware threats.
3. Device Encryption
Ensuring device encryption is crucial in establishing a safe cyber security environment. However, many Android users overlook this important feature. Simply setting a complex password or screen lock pattern is not enough.
Device encryption provides an added layer of security by encrypting all data stored on your device, making it only accessible with proper credentials. This feature ensures that all sensitive information remains secure and out of the hands of hackers.
To take advantage of this feature on Android, users with OS versions 4.4, 5.0, and higher must configure their device settings manually. To do so,
- Navigate to “Settings“
- Select “Security” and select “Encryption & Credentials,” depending on your device.
Once enabled, third-party apps cannot access your encrypted data, providing peace of mind. You can find reliable encryption apps for Android devices on the Google Play Store to secure your device.
4. Install a Reliable Mobile Security App
To improve the safety of your Android device and protect it from malware, it’s advisable to install a reliable mobile security app from a trusted provider. Such apps come with real-time scanning, malware removal, and phishing protection features.
You should consider apps with positive reviews, frequent updates, and features like anti-malware scanning, anti-theft options, and safe browsing.
5. Clear Your Browser Cookies
Clearing your browser cookies is an important step in preventing malware. Although it may not seem essential, cookies can put you at risk in many ways depending on your phone usage and the websites you visit. So, clear your mobile browser cookies regularly to keep your device and personal data safe.
How to clear browser cookies using Chrome
- Open “Google Chrome”
- Tap the three icons at the right corner of the search bar
- Navigate to “Settings”
- Select “Privacy and Security”
- Choose “Clear Browser Data”
- You can select all the options or choose what you want to clear.
6. Be Careful When Clicking Links
Malware can sneak onto your devices through misleading links or attachments. It’s important to be careful when you click on links in emails, text messages, or social media posts., especially if you don’t know or don’t trust the source.
Cybercriminals use tactics like social engineering to deceive people into downloading malware unknowingly. Always verify the sender’s legitimacy before clicking links or downloading attachments.
7. Avoid Cracked Apps and Games
Avoid using cracked or modified apps and games to protect your Android device. While they may seem cost-effective, they can seriously compromise your device’s security.
These apps may be able to access your data or inject malware, even if you have antivirus software installed. To stay safe, choose free alternatives to paid apps or avoid using modified apps altogether.
8. Review App Permissions
It’s imperative to be careful when permitting apps to access your device. Some apps might ask for more permissions than they need, which can put your device at risk. So, before you install any app, closely examine the permissions it’s asking for.
If they seem like they’re more than what the app needs, it’s worth thinking twice about whether it’s worth it. Also, it’s a good idea to check the permissions of any apps you already have on your device and eliminate any that you don’t need.
Potential Signs for Android Malware
When it comes to ensuring your phone’s security from Android malware, it’s important to stay vigilant for any signs that something might be wrong. Malicious actors can access your data through downloaded apps or accidentally click on online ads.
Want to check for malware on your Android phone? Here are some things to keep an eye out for when it comes to detecting Android malware on your device:
- The device is performing slower than usual.
- You might have noticed more pop-up ads
- Higher data usage and more expensive phone bills
- Your battery draining faster
- Your phone is getting a bit overheated
- You might be experiencing longer loading times
- Your device is not receiving new updates
If you spot any signs we mentioned on your Android device, scanning it for malware and taking the necessary security precautions is essential. Stay safe!
Hey there! Keeping your data and privacy secure on your Android device is crucial. To help you out, here are practical things you can do: First, only download apps from trustworthy sources. Second, make sure your device is constantly updated. Third, install a mobile security app you can trust. Fourth, be careful when clicking on links.
And finally, look at the app permissions to ensure they’re not asking for anything they shouldn’t. These simple steps can help you avoid malware and keep your information safe. So why not give them a try?