Keep Your Android Safe

Keep Your Android Safe: Android-logoAndroid-powered smartphones around the world are extremely popular, in part due to their lower cost (compared to Apple iPhones), and also because they are very customizable. Users can configure them in zillions of ways, and install apps from many different places on the internet. Therein lies a risk – Android-powered smartphones are much more vulnerable to hackers and malware. But fear not, you can easily limit your risk and exposure by following some simple rules.

ipad_iphone-app_storeNow for the iPhone aniPad, that risk is limited because you can only get apps from the Apple App Store.That’s not a 100% guarantee, but does make it nearly impossible for hackers to gain access to your iPhone.

Yandroidou can get apps for your Android from lots of places, so the risk is much more real. In our opinion, the Android operating system is much easier to hack and crack, so of course it’s a more attractive target for hackers.

pdfdownloadFor a handy printable tip sheet, please click this link: AndroidSafety.pdf (Adobe PDF, get free reader here)


Android-app-on-Google-play-logo-vector-2The simplest way to limit your exposure is to only get apps from the Google Play Store. Not too long ago, Google changed their policy so that any updates to apps already downloaded from Google Play must come only from the Google Play store. Before that, hackers could easily distribute fake versions of updates to popular programs with malware hidden inside. This new policy should help to keep you safer, but the jury is still out on how much this really means, since Google doesn’t do nearly as much for curating apps as you get on the Apple App Store. Of course, there may be great apps out there for the Android that aren’t in Google Play, and you may be tempted to get an app from one of these other providers. I’m not saying you should never do this, but understand that if you do, you are taking a risk.

android_news06Your best bet is to do your ‘due diligence’ and research the author of the app and the distribution channel. Just look for anything negative posted online about either. If all the results are positive, you should be ok, but again, no there is no 100% guarantee.

These days Android is one of the top targets for cyber criminals, partly because it’s so easy to create and distribute an app. You get an app that does something you want it to do, the criminals get access to your smartphone and can do whatever they want with it and your personal information. So until the situation changes, we recommend you limit apps to what you can get on Google Play. That’s both for paid and free apps!

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