While Android is indisputably one of the most popular OS for mobile phones, it is also quite prone to viruses and malware. One of the reasons why is because it is an open OS that can be modified, altered by smartphone manufacturers to their liking. Anyone can release apps for Android, which is not necessarily a good thing, when it comes to protection. That is why it is very important to do everything you can to secure your mobile phone from potential hacking attacks, just like you would normally do with your laptop or computer.
Here are the measures every smartphone owner should take to protect their device from all kinds of cyber threats:
- The first thing you should do, even before you own an Android phone, is do some research and only pick vendors that are known to be prompt in releasing Android patches. It is important that your manufacturer gets all the security updates/patches as soon as they are released. Among the most trust-worthy vendors are Google, HTC, Sony, LG, Motorola
- Don’t keep ignoring that two-factor authentication. Use Google’s two-factor authentication as an additional security measure
- Don’t download apps other than from the Google Play Store. Google has really improved its security and exceptions with malicious apps infiltrating into the play Store are increasingly rare. Most threats come from downloading and installing third-party apps that come from unreliable sources
- Make sure Google Play Protect is enabled, by going into your phone’s settings (Security-Play Protect). Play Protect is very important because it automatically scans your device when you install an app and makes sure there is no threat
- Update your Android version. This one comes hand in hand with the first thing we’ve mentioned in the beginning. All updates include bug fixes and the newest security patches, so if your manufacturer has access to them, make sure you update your Android version as soon as it is available for your phone
- Install an Android antivirus on your phone. It doesn’t necessarily have to be one that you pay for, since there are a lot of great, free options out there as well. One is BT Virus Protect, which is based on McAfee, which is an award-winning software
- A VPN is also important. And unfortunately, unlike with Antivirus programs, when it comes to reliable mobile virtual private networks, free is not the way to go. Free VPNs don’t really do much, so you should opt for a paid one, such as NordVPN, Private Internet Access, F-Secure Freedome VPN. A VPN is very important for your smartphone especially when you are traveling and you have to use random WiFi networks, which can be really unsafe
- Use a password management program to create impenetrable passwords for all your data. It is better than to write down dozens of passwords on a piece of paper or try to remember them all. A good password manager can even create one hack-proof master password for you to enter every time. Examples of reliable password management programs: LastPass, 1Password, Zoho Vault, Dashlane, Keeper.