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5 Ways to keep your phone protected from Malware

Posted In Antivirus, Mobile, Security - By Techtiplib on Monday, December 8th, 2014 With No Comments »

Now that smartphones outcompete those of laptops and other computers, hackers have turned their attention to how they can steal information from your most portable device. Let them try as hard as they like. If you follow these five tips, you can keep your phone protected from malware.

Don’t Use Public Networks

Don't Use Public Networks

Image via Flickr by zoetnet (https://www.flickr.com/photos/zoetnet/4851507642/sizes/m/)

With any luck, you have a service provider that charges affordable rates when you access the Internet with your 4G phone. No matter how low the rates get, though, some smartphone users will always want to access public networks to save money.

That puts them at a high risk of getting malware.

Public networks offer very little security for users. A smart hacker can log on to the network and use it to access other devices. Even if the hacker doesn’t install malware on your smartphone, he or she may browse your phone to find sensitive information like credit card numbers and your contact list.

Never Download Pirated Apps

Google Play has a ton of free apps, but some apps cost money. Smartphone owners who really don’t want to spend a few dollars may find pirated versions of those apps online. When they download those pirated apps, they welcome malware to their phones.

It should seem obvious, but hackers don’t crack and distribute apps out of kindness. They do it because they have an angle that will help them make money. By hiding malware in their apps, they can easily capture information from your phone.

The solution is about as easy as it gets. If you don’t want malware, only use app stores that you trust. And never download pirated apps. They will infect your phone with something terrible.

Update Your Smartphone’s Operating System

Hackers and legitimate developers are constantly fighting each other. When developers release stable operating systems, hackers immediately start looking for vulnerabilities that they can exploit. To keep customers safe, the developers make patches that seal off those vulnerabilities. Of course, that doesn’t stop the hackers. They just keep looking for another way into your smartphone.

Eventually, someone will find a way to exploit a vulnerability in the operating system that your smartphone uses. If you update your device regularly, though, you can make sure that you get the latest patches. If you’re running an old version of your phone’s operating system, you’re a huge target for hackers.

Talented hackers may eventually find a way to break through new operating system defenses, but that doesn’t mean that you have to make it easy for them. Plus, updating your software will keep out common criminals who don’t know much about developing unique malware.

You can’t protect your phone from everyone, but you can protect it from 99 percent of the criminals who don’t really understand how to develop their own malware.

Install Security Apps

Google Play has several anti-malware apps that can scan your smartphone to detect and uninstall troublesome malware.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Mobile is a commonly used app that protects smartphones. The app has features that:

  • detects and removes all kinds of malware, including trojans and spyware
  • scans new apps for potentially malicious code
  • blocks access to personal data
  • scans your smartphone for security vulnerabilities
  • finds applications that track your location
  • prevents malicious websites from hiding in text messages

Find a security app that has the features that you want. Make sure that you read the reviews to learn about experiences other people have had with the app.

This is such an easy way to protect your phone, but most people never take the time.

Use a Password

Always use a password to prevent people from accessing your smartphone without permission. This won’t necessarily prevent online malware from attacking your phone, but it can prevent people from using your device. If you walk away from your phone, a criminal can install malware in just a few minutes. By using a password, you make it much harder for someone to access your phone or install unwanted apps.

Have you ever found malware on your smartphone? What techniques do you use to prevent malware on your phone?

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