Android devices generally come setup for downloading apps from a trusted app store, like the Google Play Store. For extra security, don’t change the settings on your device that allow 3rd party apps to be downloaded from the official app stores. Sometimes called “sideloading”, allowing apps to be installed from less trustworthy places on the Internet increases your chances of accidentally loading malware onto your device.
Just like your computer, your smartphone’s operating system and apps need to be updated periodically. It’s important to keep an eye out for system update notifications on your device. You can also check for system updates by visiting “Settings,” then “About” (or “About Phone”), followed by “System Updates.”
For app updates, visit the Google Play Store app, then the “Play Store” icon. Select “My Apps” to view your downloaded apps and any available updates. You can also touch the Menu button to check the “Auto-update” option to keep that app automatically up to date.
Practice Safe Internet Habits
A common attack method, known as “phishing” on the Internet, isn’t technical, it’s psychological. Scammers will create fake websites, pretending to be your bank or shopping site. They’ll send you emails asking you to sign in and provide your account information, which they’ll then use to access your account on the real sites.
Some malware attacks come in the form of banner ads designed to look like a security warning telling you viruses have been detected. The error will ask you to download and run what it claims is an antivirus app, but is really the scammer’s software waiting to load onto your device.
The same safe Internet habits you follow on your computer work on your mobile devices as well. If you do find yourself falling victim to one of these attempts, here is what to do if you are scammed.
The rapid growth in the number of Android devices being used worldwide has made the platfom a growing target for malicious software makers. Keeping your settings in check, your system updated and avoiding unsafe behavior will often be the most powerful ways to protect your device. To help take your protection further, security software makers have made a range of protection products for the Android platform.
If you still have questions on how to best protect your Android device, or need help with a potential malware issue like viruses or spyware, chat with an Agent or or stop by the Precinct at your local Best Buy store.