Android mobile OS is the world's biggest smart device ecosystem. It has more than 80 percent share of the global OS market and expectedly attracts most number of attacks from hackers and cyber criminals.
Google, in its bid to make Android open source and give enriching user-experience to mobile users, welcomes all kinds of app developers. The flip side to such open-mindedness is that Android also becomes victim of attacks by miscreants with malicious intent.
Cyber criminals these days are so sophisticated that they can pull sensitive details from smart-devices right under the noses of the users.
Trend Micro, a mobile security firm, has listed some simple precautions to prevent Android smartphones from being hacked.
"The mobile landscape is ever-changing, securing mobile device can be tedious. In the virtual world where hackers and cybercriminals are hard to trace, you are the only one who can make sure your device and the data in it is well protected. We hope the following tips can be of help in that endeavor," said Paul Oliveria, researcher at Trend Micro.
How to Safeguard Android Devices from Getting Hacked:
- Lock the screen: Some users are lazy, they open their phones just by tapping the power button. But if the users make an attempt to put pattern/password protected Lockscreen, they can be assured of knowing that the device will locked at all times and even in the event of loss or theft, nobody will be able to open the phone. They can be assured that any sensitive details they have stored will be safe. Users can also delete all data from desktop using find my phone option from their Google ID (or Gmail ID registered in their smartphones).
- Protect your data: Android virtually comes with pre-installed security measures that can be easily accessed and enabled from the security sub-menu. The Android security screen also includes an option to encrypt the device. Enabling this option will help protect sensitive information stored in the device.
- Strengthen passwords and app permissions: Google does a fine job at syncing its updates with Android devices. However, some manufacturers take a little more time to update. Remember to check the features that you allow the app to access and don't forget to use strong and unique passwords. If you re-use your passwords, hackers can effortlessly guess the passwords on your other accounts.
- Connect to secure networks – Whenever you go online using a network you don't know, such as public Wi-Fi, you should be more careful because unsecured Wi-Fi networks can be used to stage man-in-the-middle attacks where data can be intercepted by a third party. Avoid online banking, financials, and purchasing over public networks. If you use Wi-Fi at home, please make sure you use a password to secure your router.
- Avoid rooting your device – Before rooting your Android device, consider the pros and cons first. While it allows you more control over your device, it could also allow unsigned apps, including malicious ones, access to your data. This also makes it difficult to patch and update your OS and apps, which could leave your device vulnerable.
- Download from official app stores – Downloading from third-party sites or app stores is one of the easiest ways for any mobile device to get infected with malware. Limiting your apps to those from official or trusted app stores (like the Google Play app store) can lower the risk.
- Install a security app – It's always a good idea to make use of security apps. An app that offers anti-theft features like remote wipe-out, tracking, and locking, as well as malware scanning and detection can help mitigate potential threats. For example,Trend Micro Mobile Security is a security app for Android phone and Android tablet, which blocks malicious apps from Google Play before they are installed, guards against identity theft and viruses, blocks dangerous and fraudulent websites, protects your privacy on Facebook, protects kids online, extends battery life and optimizes device performance and memory.