How-To #31: Protect Yourself From An Android Virus
Open source and vulnerabilities comes hand in hand. Android is no exception. It’s not that the Android is insecure; it’s just that open source creates an environment where exploits and vulnerabilities are easier to identify. Of course, the universal truth still applies: a person that often gets sick becomes more resistant to sickness. Even thoughGoogle is constantly removingapps infested with viruses on the Android market, just remember that you are the first line of defense againstAndroid virusesand malware.
Unlike the iPhone's app store, the Android market does not actively pre-screen most of their apps. This means that you could get infected anytime. And when you get infected, it is already too late; your information is compromised.
Here are some tips on how to increase the security of your Android:
1) Keep away from new apps
Never download and install newly uploaded apps from the Android market or the internet. It takes time for Google to identify malicious apps and even more time for useful reviews to come in from other users.
2) Know what the permissions mean
If you are downloading a calendar app and it requires your "Phone Calls" or "Personal Information" permission then it is probably a malicious app. Read more about permissions and what they do before installing anything from the Android market.
When Google releases a new update for the Android, don’t hesitate to upgrade. The update is released to fix bugs and increase functionality. Without the upgrade, you will be vulnerable to any known loopholes in the security.
4) Never open unknown files / documents
Opening files from unknown sources is never a good idea. Even the highly secure iOS for the iPhone have been found to be exploitable using PDFs. No one can guess what type of files hackers will be able to find vulnerabilities in. Keep the files you download limited to only your trusted group of people and companies.
5) Keep yourself protected using an Android Anti-Virus software
There are apps that can help to protect and clean your Android devices. Although these apps should be used, they should not be completely relied on; since they can only fix what is already found and reported, thereby, offering little to no protection against newer viruses. I recommend the free McAfee Mobile Security. McAfee is a well known anti-virus software company for Windows. They an established software security company with countless security protection recognition and will be the first to patch any new exploits.