The digital world is expanding in ways we never expected to think of. Thanks to smartphones, you can access anything and everything from the comfort of your home, which is a good thing.
However, how we use these devices and the apps we install matter a lot. Many users are exposed to so many risks without even realizing it.
As more and more people embrace the online world, cybersecurity is becoming a serious concern now more than ever. Digital identity theft and malicious online activities are reported every day.
Unfortunately, most users don’t consider the phones to pose such serious risks. And yet, hackers are finding newer ways of targeting them. Since everyone has or can access a smartphone, hackers have elevated their activities.
Android phones are more prone to malicious activities than iOS. We have compiled this guide to help you stay safe and secure.
Numbers Don’t Lie
You need to understand the seriousness of cybersecurity issues for Android users. Statistics shed more light on this; it should be more than enough to keep you alert.
Here are the key stats to keep in mind:
- The world has 1.6 million campaigns targeting Android users today. Such campaigns aim to create user awareness and encourage developers to put better security measures in place.
- The world loses about $42billion per year from cybercrime.
- Security stakeholders block about 10,000 malicious apps every day.
- One in every 36 android devices has risky apps already running on them.
Only by understanding these risks will you take the initiative to stay safe. Your phone exposes you to risks that are no joke.
Issues like identity theft accounts hacking, and social media hacking have become far too common. It’s those who don’t know anything that faces the riskiest conditions.
Common Android Security Issues
As you can see, this is not a very light matter. Cybersecurity is real and concerns everyone. Even those most experienced in the world of technology has met such problem. And that is why every new device, like the Samsung S23 Series expected to launch in February 2023 comes with improved security features. We have summarized the most common risks.
You may have come across the term phishing because it’s very common. Phishing is where bad actors compel you to give you up personal identification information so that they can steal and use it to access your accounts. This activity falls under a wider scheme called social engineering, which involves tricking one person into giving up their sensitive information.
Hackers use very complex systems when phishing, which makes it hard to trace sometimes. They may send messages that seem to come from trusted sources, expecting you to fall for the tricks and give up your personal information. This attack happens three times more on mobile phones than on desktops because it’s easier to accidentally click on a bad link.
Commonly known as malware, malicious software is a term that encompasses different types of attacks. The most common malware includes:
- Ransomware. This is an attack that holds your phone hostage and demands a ransom. Bad actors will scare you by making it appear like they have acquired scary information on you. They could scare you with fake threats, for instance, that you broke some law. Don’t panic if you have downloaded such apps.
- Spyware. This attack is used to “spy” on you from the background to steal the personal data stored on your phone. It’s hard to spot, but you can try testing the functionality of your phone.
- Malicious apps. It’s hard to use smartphones without apps. They make using phones easy and convenient. However, many malicious software could damage your device, especially considering Android is an open-source platform.
Malware attacks are easy to prevent if you avoid clicking on unsafe links to download apps from untrusted sources. Android users are more prone to these attacks, which is why protecting yourself is important.
Mobile phones connect to different networks on very many occasions. When you leave your Wi-Fi open or connect to just any network in public space, you expose hackers. This is called man-in-the-middle” attacks because bad actors can use them to access your phone.
It’s easy to avoid such attacks. You must be vigilant when using open Wi-Fi networks or avoid them whenever possible.
Hackers can get into your phone and steal your personal identification information. This may include stolen credit card information than can be used to open new ones or steal money from your accounts. It can be an absolute nightmare when your identity is stolen.
While this information is not intended to scare you, it’s crucial to take precautions. It’s a reminder of how serious this issue is and why you need to protect yourself through proper use of your device.
How to Stay Safe
The issues we have mentioned above are very serious. Luckily, you don’t have to be scared because you can avoid them by following these tips:
- Double-check the apps and services on your account. Android phones use a Google account, to which you may have granted many apps access. This should not be a big issue, but for the apps, you are no longer using. It would be best to remove the connection.
- Review the permissions. Recheck the apps on your phone and revisit the permissions. If you find anything that raises a red flag, remove it immediately. Click on “Google Play Protect” or “App Security” and go through the latest activities of your system.
- Check your security basics again. Are your passwords and authentications safe? Use biometric security, pin, password, etc., to protect your phone. Android makes it easy to secure your device. Set up the Smart Lock from the security section of your system to keep an eye on your usage.
- Use system-level security. There are features on Android phones that many users are not aware of. These devices are secured from the ground up. All you need is to understand how the security features work and turn them on.
- Use VPN or a Seedbox while downloading contents from the P2P BitTorrent network. If you frequently use your smartphone for downloading files from the BitTorrent network, then you may need the safest apps to manage your seedbox. The idea is to stay under the radar and avoid hackers. Every app you use should be carefully selected and scrutinized for safety.
These security features are solid. However, you should strive to find more ways of protecting your device from malware. Your phone could be the most valuable asset, requiring top-notch security.