How to protect an Android Device from Malware

A Malware program steals personal information, Debit/credit card information and other data from your smartphone/tablet. Malware is a Malicious Software or program that is available all over the world in the form of virus, trojan, adware, spyware, worm, root-kit, etc. As we know today, hardly any operating system available which cannot be infected by the Malware.

Android is an open-source Operating System and it is developed by Google. It is most popular Mobile Operating System in the world. Its popularity can be gauged from the fact that today you will see 8 devices out of 10 based on Android Operating system.

Considering the popularity of the Android devices. Cyber Criminals and Hackers have begun to infect devices based on Android. So Android devices are also no longer insulated from Malware infection. Hence, today it is must to protect your Android devices (smartphone/tablets) from a malicious software.

Protect your android smartphone from Malicious app

How a Malware gets installed on android?

When you are new and don’t know to use your smartphone/tablet. If you start using INTERNET only for Facebook, WhatsApp, then you are safe from Malware. Because you are using you smartphone internet only for Instant messaging and for chatting. But when you are going to download free Movies, Music, and Games online then 95% chances that your Android Smartphone will be infected with Malware as soon as possible.

A Malware can be come into your Android Smartphone/tablet via following ways:

Online Surfing: When you surf online, it happens many times a spammy website shows a message on your Android Smartphone or tablet-

THE PAGE EXAMPLE.COM SAYS:

YOUR PHONE HAS (13) VIRUS!

THE VIRUS MAY CORRUPT YOUR DATA.

PLEASE FOLLOW  THE INSTRUCTIONS TO REMOVE THE VIRUS.”

And when you press OK to continue. The spammy site will automatically download an app to your smartphone. This app can be a malicious software.

Unofficial, Third Party and pirated apps: In the lack of the knowledge, you don’t use “Google Play Store” to download an official app. You directly search online using Browser. And install them via third-party store or from the spammy website. These third-party apps may contain malicious code.

Basically Unofficial, Third Party and pirated apps look same as normal apps but they have malicious codes in the .apk package file and when you install then these codes automatically install along with the app. You can’t know about that because the app runs normal same as the official app.

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, Games etc.). But in many cases, free download websites have some dangerous content along with the free download. When you are going to download a movie from these sites, They will redirect to a spammy page where you will see download button but when you click on the download it installs a malicious app automatically into your Android Smartphone.

What does a Malware can do with your smartphone?

A Malware or malicious software can give a full control of your Android smartphone/tablet to its creator. And “Malware Creator” gets all of the information without your permission. eg: Phone Contacts, emails, SMS, Debit/Credit Card details, email passwords and other sensitive information data that is available in smartphone memory or on Micro SD Card.

How a Malware steals personal information:

After installing a Malicious app, It will serve ads, hackers generate money via these spammy ads. These adware gets your Android root-level access and installs themselves as a system app. Then they can get sensitive information anytime from your Android phone via WiFi, Internet (2G, 3G, 4G), GPS and through SMS.

If a 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 don’t install a fresh copy of Android OS.

Protect your Android Smartphone from Malware:

Download apps from official app stores:

When you want to download an app, then it must use official app store that comes with your devices. One is Google Play Store and second is legitimate app store eg: Amazon, Samsung Store, Micromax app store or another trusted app store.

Only Download app if they have great reviews: 

Sometimes to download every kind of app from the official store is not safe. If you are going to download a newly released app then first see users reviews off the app. If the app has some good reviews then you can download it. Or if you found bad reviews so it would be good for you that don’t download these suspicious apps. A newly released app can be downloaded if it is a well-known company.

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, which can come with these pirated apps. Because 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, then think 10 times before download.

Use Chrome Browser:

Always use the latest browser for your security, Google Chrome browser has many security features. One of which when you are surfing online if any site wants to install any suspicious file on your device. Then 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.

And for more better security you can also disable JavaScript loading. So any site will not infect you if JavaScript is blocked in your browser. To disable JavaScript in Chrome:

  • Open Chrome in your Android device>>tap on top right 3 dot menu>>Tap on “Settings” option>>Site settings>>JavaScript>>tap to disable JavaScript.

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 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.

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 warn you about any malicious app before installation. But it doesn’t work all times.

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.

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About Author

Pramod Kumar I'm Pramod Kumar Yaduvanshi, creator and editor in chief of PCMobitech. I mostly write about Computer, Smartphone, VPN, Security related articles and tips & tricks etc. Follow me on: Twitter.


3 thoughts on “How to protect an Android Device from Malware”

  1. While antivirus apps can help secure your device, there are other steps that can be taken to better protect yourself from encountering mobile malware.

    Reply
  2. Hi there Pramad.

    Truth to be spoken, I’m deeply in love with this article.

    After I rooted my android device, unusual things started to happen on my device.

    I rebooted it, and rooted again, but this time I will do things according to this article.

    Thanks a lot.

    Reply

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