Android is the preferred operating system for many smartphone users. But as with anything that’s popular, hackers and malware developers just love finding vulnerabilities in it and exploiting them for their own gain. Even though the Android OS is as robust as it can be, you still need to exercise caution and take the steps necessary to protect your security. Threats Facing When You Leave Your Android Unprotected
So what kind of threats do you need to be wary of on your Android device?
1. Malicious apps
Even though both Apple and Android go to great lengths to stop the spread of malicious apps in their respective app stores, sometimes, some of them manage to slip through. Admittedly, the Play Store is a bigger offender in this regard. If the security of your Android device is dear to you, third-party apps and marketplaces should be avoided at all costs (unless you trust the developer 100%).
All in all, you always need to remain vigilant, because malicious apps often appear to be anything but. They tend to be masquerading as a useful social media or banking tool. But luckily, with a keen eye, you can spot them with close to zero effort. The first thing to pay attention to is the number of reviews. Legitimate apps should have at least a couple of them, so if you can’t seem to find any, that’s reason enough to be concerned. There’s another big tell that something is amiss – if the app requires unusual app permissions that don’t quite match up with its intended purpose, this is a red flag. Proceeding with installation is not recommended in this case. Threats Facing When You Leave Your Android Unprotected.
2. Banking Trojans
No malware is a welcome sight, but banking trojans are particularly nasty. The reason being is that they are designed to steal sensitive login credentials from your smart device, which the perpetrator can use to empty your bank account. There are many of these in the wild, and since the payoff for malicious developers is so significant, it’s easy to see why. Although the app stores take every precaution to prevent them from sneaking in (including scanning the apps on a regular basis), they can’t catch every single threat out there. Unfortunately, the hackers are quite skilled at avoiding detection, and sometimes they get to have their way. Threats Facing When You Leave Your Android Unprotected.
There are other ways of getting infected with a banking trojan – someone could send it to you and trick you into running it through email or a messaging app. Sometimes, visiting a malicious website is enough to get infected, and the list doesn’t end there. So what can you do about it? First of all, don’t be careless and flat out open every suspicious file you see without giving it a second thought. Installing an antivirus suite and running regular scans on your smart devices will stomp out 90%+ of threats that somehow manage to find their way through your defences. Threats Facing When You Leave Your Android Unprotected.
3. Man-in-the-middle attacks
Have you grown accustomed to the convenience of using a public Wi-Fi network? You might not even know it, but connecting to one of these could mean subjecting yourself to the risk of entering a malicious network and falling prey to man-in-the-middle attacks. Since most public Wi-Fi networks are inherently insecure, you could have the data you send through them intercepted in a matter of minutes if not seconds.
Luckily, there’s no need to give up the convenience and stick to private Wi-Fi networks exclusively. A VPN might be all you need, most of them usually offer a free trial like – https://nordvpn.com/download/android/. By routing your connection through one, all data that gets sent from and to your device is placed inside an encrypted tunnel, so even if someone were to get a hold of it, it would be completely useless to them without the proper key. A VPN will also protect your online privacy and hide your real IP.
4. Phishing attempts
In certain cases, there’s no need for malware to find its way to your Android device for your login details to get into the wild. It’s entirely possible that you’ve revealed them yourself without even knowing. One such example is by becoming a victim of a phishing attempt. Here’s how it works; first, a hacker lures you to visit a fraudulent login form that looks like it belongs to a legitimate website. In reality, however, it’s just a way to trick you into entering your login details that get sent straight into the hands of the bad guys. Threats Facing When You Leave Your Android Unprotected.
No software will protect you against phishing if you’re careless enough to let yourself be scammed out of your login credentials like that. However, there are subtle cues you can pay attention to, with the address bar of your browser being a dead giveaway. If it’s an obvious fake like a domain misspelling or something that doesn’t make sense, close it immediately. A good preventative measure is to always navigate to the login form by entering the URL directly and never click on links that get sent through you through email or messaging apps. Threats Facing When You Leave Your Android Unprotected.