Android is a great OS thanks to its customizability, depth, and range of cheap, mid-tier, and high-end devices. Security-wise, however, it could use a bit of work from both developers and users.
Android devices are susceptible to a plethora of cyber-risks. Data breaches, cyber-attacks, viruses, and malware—Android faces all of them. This is because Android is an open-source platform, meaning it is easier to develop threats against it.
There are a few ways Android users can keep their devices safe, however!
Suffice it to say, Android devices are susceptible to many security threats, especially network-borne threats. Man-in-the-middle attacks, DDoS attacks, etc.—Android devices are susceptible to all of them.
The best solution is to never connect to a public network, where network-borne security threats are common. However, you could also download a VPN for Android and use it to encrypt your device’s data while on the network, securing your data and your device.
INSTALL AN ANTI-MALWARE APP
Android is an open-source platform—the exact opposite of Apple’s approach with iOS—attracts tons of cybercriminals hoping to prey on unsuspecting Android users. Malware, viruses, scams, you name it—they all affect Android.
To secure your Android device, download an anti-malware or anti-virus app that you can use to scan your device for threats frequently (once a week or so). Free options work well, but make sure that the app you’re looking at is safe and reputable before you download it.
BE CAREFUL ABOUT WHAT PERMISSIONS YOU GRANT APPS
Most apps you download from the Google Play Store will ask for specific permissions. For example, a telecommunications app like Zoom will ask the user for permissions to their phone settings, contacts, and vice versa.
There is a danger in granting permissions, however. Disreputable apps may ask for permissions that compromise the security of the user. Even major apps like Facebook may pry for a bit more information from you by asking if you would grant it certain permissions—ones it does not need to function.
Most users don’t think twice about granting permissions to apps they’ve downloaded. You should. Next time you download an app, see what permissions the app wants and determine if it would be safe for you to grant it said permissions.
GET TO KNOW ANDROID
How many years have you used Android? Whether you’re a new Android user or you’re a seasoned Android veteran who has never touched an iPhone in their lives, it’s always worth sitting down and sifting through your phone to learn more about how your OS works.
How does familiarity benefit you security-wise, you may ask? For one, knowing your OS inside and out will prevent user mistakes—mistakes that can end with you compromising your security. Secondly, knowing what security and privacy options are available to you from within Android will help you configure your device to be secure.
What Android lacks in presentation, it makes up for in customization and potential. That said, its security is a bit lacking. Fortunately, users can easily secure their Android devices in just a few steps.