Do you remember never having to worry about the data security of your phone? Unfortunately, we are no longer in those times, and much of the data we now store on our phone is a target for hackers. To steal your data and cause other problems, they create malicious apps and infected files that are designed to break into your smartphone and ruin it. You need to know how to defend yourself and your smartphone.
Here is what you should know on the subject:
What is Mobile Malware?
Mobile malware is a type of program specifically designed for your mobile device that is intended to create disruptions and security breaches on your phone. It is always a problem, and it is used by cybercriminals in order to make a profit. The rule is to delete it at the slightest suspicion.
Mobile malware isn’t much different than regular malware except for the target. If you see something strange happening with your smartphone and you would suspect malware if the behavior happened on your normal computer, then your instincts are on the right track.
Awareness and Avoidance
You need to be aware of the signs of malware infection on your phone. If you find an application starting up without your permission, asking for access to odd data, or asking for money when the app was advertised as free with no premium options, then you should delete that app. Follow up by doing a comb-through of your phone for any damage. The same goes for any application that asks for your personal information. It is better to be cautious than convenient.
Avoiding mobile malware comes down to vigilance and not taking risks. App stores have many applications out there, and Android devices in particular have a range of handy apps to help you. Unfortunately, not all of them are as trustworthy as the big company apps that you are used to. User reviews are helpful, but not trustworthy without a mass consensus. Android users need to stay extra cautious as their phones have a reputation as being relatively insecure. Whether this is deserved or not, it means that hackers are going to try harder and more often.
Security Programs and Applications
Just as there has been an increase in malware and hacking attacks on smartphones, there has been an increase in the demand for security applications and protections for your smartphone. This demand has been met, and there are a plethora of options available to you, all claiming to be the best.
You are undoubtedly better off with one assuming it works properly, but how do you choose? Avoid unknown entities, as they are often malware in disguise hoping to rope you in with promises of security. Ideally, you want a program that has been around for a while, updates often, is popular, and has a good reputation among its users. Try doing for a search for some of the best apps out there, and it won’t take you long to find the right fit for you.
If you want your phone to remain safe from mobile malware, you absolutely should not jailbreak or root the phone. In doing so, you are effectively breaking down many of the protections that are inherent in the phone’s OS and are exposing it to all sorts of potential problems. You are allowing applications to do as they please on your phone, and that is a recipe for disaster. What if you were to unintentionally allow data from your financial apps to be read by an untrustworthy app? Whatever benefits you think you are getting, it is not worth the suffering of a lost phone, lost data, or identity theft.
Using a VPN
One last thing you can do to improve the security of your Android phone is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to protect yourself from hackers and cybercriminals hoping to plant malware onto your phone. What a VPN will do is connect your smartphone to an offsite server via an encrypted connection. This means that you will be able to safely use public networks; otherwise you would be open to hackers intercepting any and all data sent to and from your smartphone. This could lead to all sorts of problems, including stolen accounts and identity theft.
On your smartphone it is particularly important to use a VPN, considering the number of public networks it connects to on a regular basis. They are generally inexpensive, and the number of different options e for you mean that you will have no problem finding the perfect one for you. You will likely want to read some reviews on the matter by expert websites such as Secure Thoughts and My VPN Reviews to make a better decision.
New mobile malware is being developed every day, but that shouldn’t give you reason to panic. There is much you can do, and the techniques and tools described above will give you all of the defenses you need when combined with a vigilant and curious mind. Thank you for reading, and may you never have to deal with the consequences of mobile malware on your smartphone.