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How to Protect Your Android Phone from Malware and Viruses

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Malware and viruses can cause serious damage to your Android mobile phone, especially if they are not removed quickly. Hackers and identity thieves often use malware to exploit vulnerabilities in your Android device, which can lead to your personal information, passwords and credit card details being stolen and used for malicious purposes. Protecting your Android phone from malware and viruses is essential for ensuring the security of your device.


Check for Updates

Google regularly release updates for Android operating systems. These updates include the latest patches and fixes for security issues and known vulnerabilities. Installing Android updates as soon as they become available ensures that you always have the latest security measures to protect your device.

Similarly, the developers of installed applications and programs often release periodic updates to their software. These updates sometimes include security patches to fix any security issues that have been reported to the developer. When updates become available, check the accompanying information to see if the update includes a security fix.

Install Only Trusted Applications

Malware and viruses are often installed by unwitting users with applications that have been downloaded from the Internet. One of the most recent malware scares came when a developer made pirate copies of existing applications and added malicious programs. The pirated software was then posted on the Android market under a slightly different name, with the intention of appearing to be legitimate versions of the software.

Before downloading or installing any application from the Internet or Android market, check that the software comes from a reputable source. Check both the name of the software and the name of the developer carefully. Look at the screenshots, developer icon and customer reviews, and read through the accompanying text thoroughly. If you are still in doubt, research the developer and use forums or social media to find out more information.

Check the Permissions

When you install a downloaded application, you will be asked to grant permission for the application to access and modify certain aspects of the phone, such as the SD card contents, personal contacts and other important functions.

Before granting permission, look through the list to make sure that the permissions are reasonable. For example, if you are installing a simple game, there is little reason for it to need access to your contact list, unless there is a multiplayer option. Use common sense to determine whether or not to trust an application with access to the requested permissions.

Install a Security Application

There are several security applications available, both free and paid, to help protect your Android phone from malware and viruses. Many of the top security software developers now make applications for Android, with most also offering a free version of the software. However, as with all applications, only download software from a trusted source.

Beware of Unsecured Wi-Fi Connections

Unsecured Wi-Fi connections can be used by anyone. If you are accessing the Internet through an unsecured Wi-Fi connection, always be aware that somebody else could be using the same network. Avoid viewing or entering any sensitive information, such as credit card details, important passwords and personal data. Always protect your home Wi-Fi connection with a password to prevent unauthorized access.