Of the two popular mobile OS providers, Android and iOS, the former has been noted to be less secure than the latter. This may or may not be attributed to the fact that the Android Operating System is open source – meaning the code is made freely available and anyone can see and use it.
Besides the flexibility that it affords developers, this feature makes it easy for attackers to perfectly orchestrate their attacks against users of the operating system.
Threats Faced by Android OS users
As a result, Android users are often exposed to a couple of threats. Outlined below are some of them:
1. Malware attacks
Malware attacks are rather prevalent in Android devices of late, leaving over 1 billion Android users at risk of being attacked. This is due to the fact that these users are still on the Android version 6 or lower – and these versions no longer receive security updates from Google.
2. Malicious applications
It is relatively easy for developers to upload their application onto the Google PlayStore, therefore, giving the opportunity for a lot of cybercriminals to make malicious applications available for download. Unsuspecting users download them and this way, the criminals gain access to the data stored on the phone.
3. Android OS is open source
The open-source property of the Android OS allows users to root their phones. This feature affords users with flexibility but can cause severe damage if some core applications or processes are deleted. This makes the operating system more vulnerable to direct attacks from the Internet.
Securing Your Android Device
Keeping your Android device secure is rather paramount – given the recent wave of cyberattacks flooding the Internet. Highlighted below are some tips to stay safe:
1. Install a VPN for your Android device
Doing so helps encrypt your browsing data. A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the Internet.
In the past, VPNs were originally used to connect business networks together securely over the internet or allow you access to a business network from home but now many people use them to access region-restricted websites, shield their browsing activity from prying eyes on public Wi-Fi, and more.
2. Install security updates for your device regularly
In most cases, all Android devices are supposed to notify you in case there are new updates available for your specific device. At times, other users leave their auto-update feature on so that their devices can automatically update anytime in case security updates are available.
If this is not the case for you, you can head to your device settings to enable the updates feature or check the Google PlayStore to see if any are available.
3. Verify the source of every Android application before installing them
This is very important and can save you a lot of headache from malicious attacks or malware in general. If you’re not installing the app from a verified source such as Google PlayStore, then you should think twice before doing so. You can also always check the reviews and other sources to know more about an app if you feel it’s not trustworthy.
4. Avoid downloading attachments from emails or the internet without verifying the sender
The most common mistake people make is downloading files and attachments from emails or the internet without thinking twice. Attackers use this tactic a lot to hide malware or malicious code to carry out cyberattacks. So, next time before you decide to go ahead and download something from the internet, be very conscious and ensure its from a verified sender you trust.
It may not be easy for some to ensure that all the above tips are met but at least try your level best to stay alert for any cyberattacks or malicious applications being installed on your Android device or operating system. Keep your device up to date and ensure you get all the essential security updates to protect your device from attackers.
You can also try out VPN services from SurfShark, as it is affordable, secure, and comes with a lot of great features such as multiple device support, Blind Search feature, and robust AES 256-bit encryption. Secure your digital life today with 82% off Surfshark VPN.
Also read: Is Private Internet Browsing Really Private?
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana has a taste for all kinds of topics and usually writes about tech, entertainment, sports and community projects that make a difference in society.