Android security risks and how to stay safe
It’s typical for individuals to assume that their smartphones are highly secure, and their data totally inaccessible by online hijackers. However, research has proven that the level of security on our devices may be lower than we think. It has been reported that as many as 1 billion Android devices are prone to cyber-attacks.
Risks Faced by Android Users
A study conducted by tech firm, Which?, has revealed as many as 40 out of every 100 Android users are highly susceptible to data breaches. According to the research, a lot of Android phones perform operations using obsolete Operating Systems. OS older than Android 8 is more likely to be breached by hackers because of its lessened level of up-to-date security patches.
Research conducted by leading antivirus firm, Avast, divulged that some of the prominent threats to Android devices include phony applications and rooters. These risks give a greater advantage to cybercriminals to breach the privacy of their data. This is why it is essential to have measures in place to protect your devices.
Eliminating Security Risks
- Using a VPN
Virtual Private Networks enhance security when you’re browsing through the internet by encrypting traffic flowing in and out of your device. It performs this by passing all your internet traffic through a tunnel. In the event that any hijacker tries to breach your online session to spy on your activity, the information viewed would simply be lengthened strings of symbols, numbers, and letters.
A VPN even prevents your Internet Service Provider (ISP) from tracking your online activities or browsing activity. Take care to use a trusted paid VPN rather than searching for free ones.
- Consistently Upgrade your Operating Software and Programs
It’s typical for Android users to ignore software updates sent to their smartphones. Every software update provides a heightened level of security on your device. Ignoring these updates leaves you prone to security loopholes that have been fixed by the team behind the Android OS.
You might also neglect updates for your mobile applications. The outdated version of an application, such as a browser, could lead to viruses and malware being installed on your device from extensions and plug-ins. There have been cases of malware used on browsers to mine cryptocurrency on several devices for hackers.
You can activate the automatic updates option in the Settings part of your Android device.
- Use Strong Passwords
A lot of people use weak passwords such as names of relatives, friends, and pets for their accounts and devices. In the event that you lose your device, the hacker would easily guess your password and gain unfettered access to your data. If you use the same password across different accounts a cyber-hacker would access your other accounts.
To create a strong password, you need to form a unique passcode with mixed upper and lower case letters, symbols, and numbers. The password must also be at least 8 characters long. This way, it would be harder for a cybercriminal to guess your password.
You can use a password manager to manage all your passwords so you don’t lose track of any. Password managers are efficient tools that can autofill your passwords on websites you have accounts with and create unique, strong passwords for you.
- Scrutinize Applications
Before downloading any application on your Android device, take the time to search for reviews online. There are applications that ask for permission to access sensitive data on your device. In fact, there are apps that store this data on their servers to sell on the dark web.
Checking online reviews of an app would allow you to decide if you’re comfortable with the application’s privacy level.
A lot of Android users are prone to security breaches as a result of using outdated OS. Other risks faced by android users include malware through the use of fake applications. To protect data on your device you need to take some steps.
Use a VPN on your device, frequently update your OS, check the security level of applications before download, and use strengthened passwords.