Malware is not endemic in Android. From time to time we hear about this or that malware that affects to a lesser or greater extent the operating system, but we cannot say that Android is more insecure than other operating systems, at least according to Google.
Now, malware exists, in its most extensive definition. Sometimes it takes the form of complicated systems, and sometimes they are potentially unwanted applications that replace your home screen, fill you up with garbage notifications or show you advertising.
What can you do to avoid this kind of evil? Here are seven tips to keep malware at bay on Android …
1. Disable unknown sources
Most Android phones come with the option of installing from unknown sources turned off, but eventually many of us end up activating it. Sometimes it is to download the APK, that we cannot expect to be available on Google Play or because we simply want to download something from another store other than Google Play.
Applications in APK from outside Google Play are not harmful, but it is true that in this case skip the analysis that Google makes of the applications published in your store. In this case, you should verify yourself that the app you are downloading is a reliable source, such as you can download the William Hill Android app here from their official page.
You can check the status of this option in the System Settings, Security section. There is nothing wrong activating the option to install some APK obtained from a reliable source from time to time, but as a rule, it is better to leave the option off to make it a little difficult to work on websites that download APK by themselves and similar situations.
2. Enable application verification
We have seen earlier how Google uses the Verify Apps feature to determine whether an app is safe or not. It could be said that the verification of applications is the antivirus of Google, and warns you before installing potentially harmful applications for your phone. It will also periodically scan the phone for suspicious items.
You’ll find this option under Settings – Google – Security. There are two options you can turn on, Search for security threats on the device and Improve detection of harmful applications. Only the first one is necessary, although it does not hurt to help the system to improve its effectiveness.
3. Monitor permissions
The way the permissions on Android work is very improved, with descriptions that are sometimes very imprecise and somehow incite panic, but it never hurts to pay some attention to the permissions. It is no longer a question of looking with a magnifying glass at all or the applications that we install, but especially those that we do not know very well where they have come from and that we could suspect.
The most important question we must ask ourselves is do these permits make sense? Do you need a mini-game to know my location, read my messages and make calls? If something does not seem to fit, many authors dissect in the Google Play description the required permissions and their reasons. With occasions, it happens that the permits that seemed so out of place had in truth a reason d’être .
5. Keep security patches updated
It is important to keep the security patches available for your terminal up-to-date. Yes, I know it is easier said than done, unfortunately, it is still a pending issue in Android that patches are available for all terminals and in a reasonable time.
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do here if your manufacturer does not update the security patches. The only thing you can do is to see what you have installed (Settings – About the device – Android security patch level) and check for updates periodically.
6. Avoid miraculous applications and clones
Your best ally to keep your Android device free of threats is common sense. A common resource used by malware writers is to take advantage of the hype that is generated around highly anticipated games and applications. It happened with Pokémon GO, happened again with Super Mario Run and will continue to happen in the future: applications posing as others.
In many cases it’s about developers with few scruples who want to win a few downloads and visualizations of ads, but there are those who go a step there and insert malware in these clones. Once again appeal to common sense, is this application real? Where does it come from? Who has done it? Can I find more information about it on the Internet?