With rapid developments in technology and the Internet, the number of unique mobile phone users in 2020 is about 5.16 million. As we all know, mobile phones have made life easier by bridging distances and making a lot of complex processes easier.
This however comes with a number of downsides – one of which is the prevalence of cyberattacks which puts users’ data at ultimate risk.
Benefits and Woes of Mobile Devices
These cyberattacks are perpetrated through mobile applications, which constitute 90% of the media through which users perform actions on their mobile phones. Mobile applications are used to connect with family and friends, perform transactions and even control other devices within the home using Internet of Things technology.
Just as the digital economy considers data as the “new oil”, so do cyber attackers consider user data to be a goldmine. Asides basic personal information, user data often contains credit card and bank account information which can enable hackers to cart away with hard-earned funds of their victims. To avoid becoming a victim to hacking, it’s important to keep up with the cybersecurity trends.
Hackers do not necessarily have to hack a database containing this information anymore. All they simply need to do is serve malicious ads and encourage their victims to subscribe to some paid service where they have to enter their financial details. This way, they obtain the data pretty easily.
Risks associated with Android Operating System
As a user, having your data stolen is about the worst thing you probably want to experience but an understanding of the risks you face will have you prepared and ready to secure your Android device. Explained below are a couple of these risks:
- Application Threats: At the moment, the Android OS is susceptible to over 75,000 security threats and about 95% of Android OS users are susceptible to these threats. Apart from the nature of the OS which allows for these many security threats, the policies on the Google Play Store are not stringent enough to check these threats. Due to this, it is fairly easy for Android users to have their device infected easily.
- Application Permissions: Oftentimes, users do not give a second thought to app requests for permissions to some parts of their phone which results in their phone getting ‘hacked’ unknowingly. Little do they know that granting permissions to an app gives it access to sensitive information stored in that section of their phones. It is therefore important that users are aware of this risk and be cautious when granting permissions to apps, especially when they feel it isn’t necessary.
- OS Customization: This, asides from jailbreaking or rooting is another strange but real security risk that users unknowingly expose themselves to. Customizing the OS might make it more comfortable or user-friendly but these launchers and customization can cause loopholes in the security measures implemented.
Staying Safe from Android Security Risks
These are some of the many risks associated with the Android OS but the most important thing to note is how these risks can be contained. Explained below are a couple of them:
- Use Security Software: Beyond the security features provided by the Android OS itself, users should seek to provide additional security for their devices. They can do this by installing an android security app from a reputable company. These apps act just like the PC versions of the security app to detect and remove any malicious software that might potentially cause damage to the user’s phone.
- Install Security Updates: Android OS developers often release OS updates and fixes which take care of vulnerabilities that might have been detected in the previous version release. It is important that users install these updates as soon as they are released so they can be up-to-date with the latest security offering provided by their mobile OS developer.
- Use Encryption Software: Encryption software is necessary when sending sensitive information over the internet. A strong Android VPN app can help protect data by adding several layers of encryption on top of the data being transferred. This will make information useless to anyone that attempts to intercept it.
- Install Only Trusted Applications: By default, the Android OS does not allow users to install applications from sources that are deemed untrustworthy. Enabling this feature opens the user to several risks that could potentially infect their device or spy on them.
- Avoid Unsecure Connection: Avoid sending sensitive data to unsecure websites or connecting to public Wi-Fi. Several security threats such as phishing, man-in-the-middle attacks and malware infection can arise as a result of such actions.
Join 34,886 other members in receiving the greatest content + freebies/discount offers about Mobiles, Android & iOS apps straight to your inbox.