We’ve talked a lot about how to prevent yourself and protect yourself from Malware on a computer, but not a lot about phones. As we’re interested in giving everyone as much knowledge as possible to protect themselves, it makes sense to show both sides of the story.
There are 3 steps to protecting your Android device.
Android has built-in protection from many threats. They have an inbuilt app verification tool that checks everything you try to install to ensure it doesn’t contain malicious code.
If you have sideloaded apps in Android at any time, you will probably have disabled this setting at some point. In some cases, more sophisticated malware can disable it themselves.
This isn’t foolproof, but it is an effective barrier to many types of malware.
Check it’s enabled and protecting your phone.
Make sure you see ‘Not Allowed’ under every app in the list. This tells you that ‘install from unknown sources’ is disabled.
It’s always tempting to be a rebel and do the opposite of what authority tells you. When it comes to installing unauthorized apps, there are significant risks.
The majority of malware comes from unauthorized sources. Whether that’s legit apps hacked with malware payloads or fake apps designed specifically to deliver malware, the threat is real.
To avoid the majority of malware, fight the urge to stick it to the man and jailbreak your phone or sideload apps. Install apps from legit sources and you drastically reduce the risk they pose.
Malware scanners are an extra layer of protection that can prove valuable. They aren’t the complete answer on their own, but they are an extra layer of security.
There are a bunch of malware apps for Android and we won’t tell you which to use. Just make sure to read reviews on and off the Play Store and make an informed choice.
Install one you think you can trust and keep it running.
The intent here is to inform, not to scare. An informed user is an aware user and that awareness can help you recognize and prevent the worst that can befall you online or on your phone.
So please take these warnings in the spirit they are given. To make you aware, not afraid and to give you the information you need to make your own decisions.