Keeping your Android-powered Smartphone Safe

xperia-p-android-smartphone-2With all the talk about computer security (or the lack thereof) these days, lots of folks are wondering what that means to the smartphone level of computers. There are threats out there, and the risk is growing. For the iPhone, 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 much harder for hackers to gain access to your iPhone. With Android-powered smartphones, that’s a different story. You can get apps for your Android from nearly anywhere, and so the risk is much greater, and very real.

Google-Play-Store-logoThe best you can do is limit your app downloads to what you can get on the Google Play Store. Just recently, Google changed their policy so that any updates to apps already downloaded from Google Play must come only from Google Play. Before that, hackers could distribute fake versions of updates to popular programs with malware hidden inside. This new policy should keep you relatively safe, as long as Google is verifying that app updates are submitted by the original author. We don’t know yet how Google will do this, but so far this is your best bet.


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. That may be ok, but you have to do your ‘due diligence’ and research the author of the app and the distribution channel – a quick internet research project to see if there’s anything negative posted online about either. If all the results are positive, you should be ok, but again, no 100% guarantee.

Android is one of the top targets for cyber criminals, 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.

Until the situation changes, we recommend you limit app purchases (even free apps) to what you can get on Google Play.

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