Mobile devices have become integral in every individual’s life. Most of us now depend on our smartphones and other mobile gadgets to accomplish our day to day tasks. A study from BrightEdge found that 57 percent of the web traffic now comes from mobile devices. This increased dependence on smart devices has also attracted the interest of criminals who are constantly looking out to steal our vital information. This leads to the intimation of the increase in identity theft, stolen passwords, and theft of other important social and financial information.
Most of the mobile devices use the Google Android operating system which is considered an ‘open’ operating system.
This means that smartphone manufacturers can alter it to work the way they want and anyone can release an app for it. This leaves the Android OS vulnerable to faults and bugs, which is why Android was declared as the unfortunate winner of the 2016’s product with the most vulnerabilities award.
As more and more android apps come out in the market, their security is becoming a major concern as some of these genuine-looking android apps are designed to achieve nefarious goals.
The app metrics firm AppsFlyer estimated that around 700 million to 800 million USD was stolen in massive ad scams through Android apps alone in the first quarter of 2018. This indicates a 30 percent increase over the previous year. Besides this, other malware apps like the
AndroidOS.Ztorg (detected in June) also disrupted life by accessing private info like:
Steals your contacts and photos
Follows you with a location tracker
Saves your passwords after typing
Reads your private text messages
Steals your bank account info
All this gives us an idea of how high the stakes are and the threats that we are up against. Luckily, there are ways to keep your smartphone secure of such apps and avoid the online scam. Here is how you can do it:
1. Update your android version:
It is important to periodically upgrade your android software version. Every update of the software brings in new features and fixes for bugs that keep your phone safe from online scams. The phones allow you to check for the latest software updates and know whether the software is up to date or not.
2. Look for fraudulent apps and scams:
Most of the Android app users assume that the applications on the app store have gone through rigorous testing, but that is simply not true. You have to watch out for yourself to avoid any app that may cause harm to your phone. To ensure this, you can consider the following factors before downloading a new app.
Pay attention to the app description:
Go through the app description to find out what its features are and what it offers. The description gives you an idea about the professionalism of the developer. Malicious apps, malware, phishing attacks, and scams are known for poor marketing, grammar and other silly mistakes. The lack of effort put into the app description depicts its performance which is mostly identified as fake upon closer inspection.
The easiest and the most suitable thing one can do when downloading a new app is to read the app reviews. Read what the users say about the app and pay attention to what they are concerned about. Reading reviews is an effective way to find out useless and potentially harmful apps.
Who is the developer?
Each app’s page features the name of the developer beneath or alongside the app name. You can verify the authenticity of the developer by clicking on the name. Look for other apps that the developer designed and pay attention to the number of times the apps have been downloaded. You can also find a link to the developer’s website at the bottom of the app page. Make sure that it directs to a legitimate website.
Check app’s permissions:
During installation of an app, a list of permissions appears on the screen that enlists what the app might need access to. The permissions are needed for an app to properly run on the Android device.
For example, if you are installing a game, it might need access to the internet for data; but it should not require access to your contacts or social media as it won’t make sense. Always download those apps that require the least permissions because the more permissions an app requires, the more it is taking control of the phone.
3. Prevent app installation from unknown sources:
Avoid downloading and installing apps from unknown and third-party sources. This is a risky affair and may infect your device with malware and spam. By installing apps outside of the trusted app store, you bypass the security measures put in place and make yourself an easy target for hackers to infiltrate your device with an infected app.
Therefore, you must only download and use apps from a credible platform that you trust. Use apps like airg spam that don’t let you become a victim due to your information that may be publically available.
4. Protect your Android with antivirus and spam blocker apps:
In an age when android devices are constantly being attacked by spams and malware, it is high time you equip your device with the anti-malware and spam blocker apps. There are many apps and software out there that you can download to guard yourself against online spamming. Our current recommendations are Norton Security, AirPush Detector and Hookt, the latter of which is actually a spam-proof messaging and communication app designed by the AirG developers.
The Bottom Line:
Although online spam is on the rise, there are ways to guard yourself against it. Keep yourself protected by being smart and being aware of the actions that you perform on your phone.
Utilize the tips mentioned in the article to ensure a hassle-free experience on your android device. Additionally, you can always enhance your phone’s security against online scams by adding an extra layer of protection in the form of an antivirus app to your phone. Such an app will help you against the numerous threats currently lurking on the mobile Internet landscape.
About Michelle Joe: Michelle Joe is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs. You can find her on twitter: @michellejoe524