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Tips for Android Phone Malware Protection and Detection

The latest study by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also made a shocking revelation this August that 79 per cent of all mobile device malware today is targeted at the Android devices. So, if you are using Android, especially the older and more vulnerable OS versions, it is high time you take steps to detect these security threats and protect your Android device from a potent attack.

Android is undoubtedly the most popular mobile platform today. It powers millions of devices in over 190 countries across the globe and adds hundreds of millions of new users to its share every day. But unfortunately, as the use of Android is increasing rapidly, Android malware also seems to be strengthening its grip at an alarming rate. Later half of 2012 saw a sudden spike of over 290 per cent in Android malware, sending a ripple of fear among hundreds of thousands of Android Smartphone users worldwide. The latest study by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also made a shocking revelation this August that 79 per cent of all mobile device malware today is targeted at the Android devices.

So, if you are using Android, especially the older and more vulnerable OS versions, it is high time you take steps to detect these security threats and protect your Android device from a potent attack.

Three Most Common Types of Android Phone Malware

  • Rootkits – These are malwares that manage to hide themselves very easily from conventional forms of detection. These malicious softwares, such as DroidKungFu, Carrier IQ, and DroidDream, were found to be running on thousands of mobile devices in 2011 and remain among the most prevalent malwares till date. They log passwords, keystrokes, and locations from the targeted device without the knowledge of the user.
  • Fake banking apps – Out of the various apps that are present in the Android market, some apps are very conveniently presented as apps that will help a user with financial situations. They can be disguised as apps relating to financial institutions or banks etc. But the true nature of such apps is far from positive. As opposed to what these apps claim, when you log into these apps, your personal banking information gets leaked and can then be very easily be used by scammers.
  • Fake Android OS players – The kind of apps which belong to this category are the ones which are presented as music players but once these apps are opened, a message gets sent to some premium which eventually ends up costing you a lot of money. The thing about these texts that get sent is that they are sent silently. So there is a very high chance that you might not even get to know about the texts until you are greeted by your phone bill.

How Does Android Malware Affect You?

The effects that these malwares cause you are:

  • Information pertaining to your personal contacts can get stolen.
  • All the social media accounts that you remain logged into can be easily accessed by intruders..
  • The pictures stored in your phone can also be stolen.
  • The worst part is that it is possible that your phone might stop working altogether.

Top 5 Tips to Detect Malware in your Android Phone

  1. Battery Life Will Deteriorate: Mobile phone owners are usually aware of what causes strain to their phone’s battery life and how. But these malwares can cause sudden draining of the battery.
     
  2. Strains during Taking Calls: There is a very strong possibility that your mobile carriers are not at fault when you notice disruptions and disturbances during calls. Malwares can very easily affect your incoming and outgoing calls both.
  1. Sending SMSes You Do Not Even Know About: This detection will happen when you will be holding your phone’s bill in hand as you will get to know that your phone automatically had sent a few texts to some premium numbers. This happens due to the presence of a malware and can cost quite a lot of money.
     
  2. Data Plan’s Unpredictability: This change can be monitored once you take a look at your data plan and the inconsistency of the entire upload and download patterns. 
  1. Performance of the Phone Gets Terribly Affected: Due to the presence of malwares, it will be noticed that how your phone becomes slow and it is taking time in reading and broadcasting content. No amount of rebooting in a single day will help.

Top 5 Tips to Protect your Android Phone from Malware Attack

  1. Keep Your Eyes Open: It is crucial that you make sure that the content that you browse and download should not be from a dodgy site. This is literally as simple as it sounds.

  2. Trust Only Android: you should not put your faith into any third party Android stores. Sure, they could be your mobile carriers too but it is still better if you download your apps from the Google Play store.
     
  3. Read between the Lines: While you are in the middle of a process of downloading an app, it is important that you read the necessary conditions thoroughly. This is advised so that you know that the app is legitimate. You can look for reviews and make sure that it is a popular and trustworthy app.
     
  4. Upgrade: it is suggested that to improve your safety, you should upgrade to the latest version of Android, which is Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
  1. Use Anti-Virus Software: it is quite easily one of the most obvious options to keep your phone free of any malware. These softwares will detect any kind of malware and will get rid of it. Thus, this is your safest bet.

Best Tools to Remove Android Malware

If your phones are at risk from malwares, then there are solutions present to that problem too. The anti-virus softwares are an easy and effective way to not only get rid of malware but to even avoid it in the first place. And it is very obvious that prevention is better than cure. Therefore, it is necessary that you should be aware of the best tools that are available in order to make your phone immune to malware.

The best tools that are available and can be of the most help to your phone are -

  • TrustGo
  • Lookout
  • Symantec

These results are a product of a test that was conducted in 2013 on the AV apps that are present in Android. 21 apps were able to give great results and among them the above mentioned apps proved to be the best. Your phones are an inevitable part of your daily routine therefore everything should be done in order to keep its data and content safe.