How to Protect an Android Device from Malware: A bad software called Malware can take your personal info, credit/debit card details, and other stuff from your phone or tablet. Malware is like a naughty program that’s everywhere, like viruses, trojans, adware, spyware, worms, and more. Almost every computer system can catch this Malware bug.
Now, Android is an open-source system made by Google. It’s the most popular system for phones around the world. About 8 out of 10 devices run on Android.
Since many people use Android, the bad guys, Cyber Criminals and Hackers, are starting to mess with Android devices too. So, now even Android gadgets can get sick with Malware. That’s why it’s really important to keep your Android devices (like phones and tablets) safe from these bad software things.
Table of Contents
- How does Malware get installed on Android?
- What does a Malware can do with your smartphone?
- How a Malware Steals Personal information:
- Protect your Android Smartphone from Malware:
How does Malware get installed on Android?
When you’re new and not sure how to use your smartphone or tablet, you’re at risk. If you stick to using the internet just for Facebook and WhatsApp, you’re safe from Malware. But if you start downloading free movies, music, and games online, there’s a 95% chance your Android device will catch Malware soon.
Malware can sneak into your Android device in a few ways:
1. Online Surfing:
When you’re online, a spammy website might show a message on your Android device claiming your phone has viruses:
” THE PAGE EXAMPLE.COM SAYS:
YOUR PHONE HAS (13) VIRUS!
THE VIRUS MAY CORRUPT YOUR DATA.
PLEASE FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS TO REMOVE THE VIRUS.”
If you click “OK,” the site can download a malicious app to your smartphone.
2. Unofficial, third Party and pirated apps:
If you don’t use the official Google Play Store and instead download apps from random websites, you might end up with malicious code. These apps may look normal but contain harmful codes that install along with the app.
Due to a lack of knowledge, you might avoid using the “Google Play Store” to download an official app. Instead, you directly search online using a browser and install them via a third-party store or from a spammy website. These third-party apps may contain malicious code.
Essentially, unofficial, third-party, and pirated apps look the same as normal apps, but they have malicious codes in the .apk package file. When you install them, these codes automatically install along with the app. You can’t know about that because the app runs normally, just like the official app.
3. Downloading Free Movies, Videos, Music, and Games:
If you are a new Android user, you always try to download new free stuff, including movies, music, and games. However, many free download websites have dangerous content along with the free download. When you attempt to download a movie from these sites, they will redirect you to a spammy page where you will see a download button. But when you click on the download button, it installs a malicious app automatically into your Android smartphone.
What does a Malware can do with your smartphone?
Malware or malicious software can give full control of your Android smartphone/tablet to its creator. The “Malware Creator” gets all the information without your permission, such as phone contacts, emails, SMS, debit/credit card details, email passwords, and other sensitive information data available in the smartphone memory or on the Micro SD Card.
How a Malware Steals Personal information:
After installing a malicious app, it serves ads, and hackers generate money through these spammy ads. Adware gets your Android root-level access and installs itself as a system app. Then it can get sensitive information anytime from your Android phone via WiFi, internet (2G, 3G, 4G, 5G), GPS, and through SMS.
If Malware comes to your device and gets full root access, then it is impossible to remove the malicious app without rooting your device or until you install a fresh copy of the Android OS.
Protect your Android Smartphone from Malware:
1. Download apps from official app stores:
When you want to download an app, use the official app store that comes with your devices. One is Google Play Store, and the second is a legitimate app store, e.g., Amazon, Samsung Store, Micromax app store, or another trusted app store.
2. Only Download app if they have great reviews:
Sometimes, downloading every kind of app from the official store is not safe. If you are going to download a newly released app, first check user reviews. If the app has good reviews, you can download it. If you find bad reviews, it’s better not to download these suspicious apps. A newly released app can be downloaded if it is from a well-known company.
3. Do not download unofficial, Pirated apps:
I’m not going to give you a speech on piracy, but I want to warn you about a danger that can come with these pirated apps. Malicious code can be easily integrated within the full free version of the paid app. So, when you are going to download a full version paid app (pirated app) for free, think ten times before downloading.
4. Use Chrome Browser:
Always use the latest browser for your security; Google Chrome browser has many security features. One of them is when you are surfing online, if any site wants to install any suspicious file on your device, Chrome will ask you to “Allow” or “Deny” download. If you have not downloaded any file, it may be a malicious application. So, simply tap on deny.
5. Disable Unknown Sources Option:
This is a better security option in your Android smartphone/tablet. If it is disabled, then any app can’t be installed from an external source. It means from third-party stores or from your SD Card, but Google Play Store installation will not affect this option.
By default, this option is disabled. If you have enabled it manually, then for your security, disable it first: go to Smartphone Settings >> Security Settings >> Unknown Sources, and untick the option.
Read More: Enable-Disable Unknown Sources Option in Android.
6. Google Settings (Verify the app):
Android 2.2 or higher has Google malicious app scanner, which is already installed on your Android device. It scans and verifies all the apps when you are installing any app from external sources and warns you about any malicious app before installation. But it doesn’t work all times.
7. Use a Good Antivirus Application:
There are many Mobile Security Antivirus available for free. Choose the best antivirus for your smartphone security. If you have some budget then buy a premium antivirus Bitdefender antivirus for android, Kaspersky Internet Security for Android, Avast Mobile Security Premium, and Quick Heal Mobile Security are the best solutions for Android devices.
The above things will definitely help you something and you can protect your device easily. But you will need to learn more and keep your eyes always active on your Device security.
There are many mobile security antivirus available for free. Choose the best antivirus for your smartphone security. If you have some budget, then buy a premium antivirus; Bitdefender antivirus for Android, Kaspersky Internet Security for Android, Avast Mobile Security Premium, and Quick Heal Mobile Security are the best solutions for Android devices.
The above things will definitely help you, and you can protect your device easily. But you will need to learn more and keep your eyes always active on your device security.