The digital world is growing in ways we never expected to think about. Thanks to smartphones, you can access anything and everything from the comfort of your home, which is a good thing.
However, how we use these devices and what apps we install matters a lot. Many users are exposed to so many risks without even realizing it.
As more and more people embrace the online world, cybersecurity is becoming more of a serious concern than ever. Digital identity theft and malicious activity online are reported every day.
Unfortunately, most users don’t consider phones to pose such serious risks. And yet hackers are finding new ways to target them. Since everyone has or can access a smartphone, hackers have stepped up their activities.
Android phones are more prone to malicious activity than iOS. We’ve compiled this guide to help you stay safe.
The numbers don’t lie
You need to understand the seriousness of cybersecurity issues for Android users. Statistics shed more light on this; that should be more than enough to keep you alert.
Here are the key stats to keep in mind:
- There are now 1.6 million campaigns targeting Android users worldwide. These campaigns aim to raise user awareness and encourage developers to implement better security measures.
- The world loses around $42 billion a year to cybercrime.
- Security actors block approximately 10,000 malicious applications every day.
- One in 36 Android devices already contains risky apps.
Only by understanding these risks will you take the initiative to stay safe. Your phone exposes you to risks that are no joke.
Problems such as hacking of impersonation accounts and hacking of social media have become far too common. It is those who know nothing who face the most risky conditions.
Common Android Security Issues
As you can see, it’s not a very light deal. Cybersecurity is real and concerns everyone. Even the most experienced in the tech world have encountered this problem. And that’s why every new device, like the Samsung S23 series which is expected to launch in February 2023, comes with enhanced security features. We have summarized the most common risks.
You may have come across the term phishing because it is very common. Phishing involves getting you to provide personal identifying information so they can steal it and use it to gain access to your accounts. This activity falls under a larger scheme called social engineering, which involves tricking someone into giving up their sensitive information.
Hackers use very complex systems when phishing, which sometimes makes it difficult to trace. They may send messages that appear to be from trusted sources, expecting you to fall for the trap and give out your personal information. This attack occurs three times more often on mobile phones than on desktop computers, because it is easier to accidentally click on the wrong link.
Commonly referred to as malware, malicious software is a term that encompasses different types of attacks. The most common malware includes:
- Ransomware. This is an attack that hijacks your phone and demands a ransom. Bad actors will scare you by giving the impression that they have learned some scary information about you. They might scare you with false threats, for example, that you broke a law. Don’t panic if you have downloaded such apps.
- Spyware. This attack is used to “spy” on you in the background to steal personal data stored on your phone. It’s hard to spot, but you can try to test the functionality of your phone.
- Malicious apps. It is difficult to use smartphones without apps. They make using phones easy and convenient. However, there are plenty of malware that could harm your device, especially since Android is an open-source platform.
Malware attacks are easy to prevent if you avoid clicking dangerous links to download apps from untrusted sources. Android users are more prone to these attacks, which is why it’s important to protect yourself.
Mobile phones connect to different networks on many, many occasions. When you leave your Wi-Fi open or connect to any network in public space, you expose hackers. These are called man-in-the-middle attacks because bad actors can use them to gain access to your phone.
It is easy to avoid such attacks. You should be vigilant when using open Wi-Fi networks or avoid them as much as possible.
Hackers can break into your phone and steal your personal credentials. This can include stolen credit card information which can be used to open new ones or steal money from your accounts. It can be an absolute nightmare when your identity is stolen.
Although this information is not intended to scare you, it is essential to take precautions. It’s a reminder of how serious this issue is and why you need to protect yourself by using your device properly.
How to stay safe
The problems we mentioned above are very serious. Fortunately, you don’t have to be afraid because you can avoid them by following these tips:
- Check the apps and services on your account. Android phones use a Google account, which you may have granted access to many apps. This shouldn’t be a big deal, but for apps you no longer use. It would be better to delete the connection.
- Check permissions. Double check the apps on your phone and review the permissions. If you find something that raises a red flag, remove it immediately. Click on “Google Play Protect” or “App Security” and browse the latest activities of your system.
- Check your security bases again. Are your passwords and authentications secure? Use biometric security, PIN, password, etc. to protect your phone. Android makes it easy to secure your device. Configure the Smart Lock from the security section of your system to keep tabs on your usage.
- Use system-level security. There are features on Android phones that many users are unaware of. These devices are secured from the ground up. All you need is to understand how the security features work and enable them.
- Use a VPN or Seedbox when downloading content from the BitTorrent P2P network. If you frequently use your smartphone to download files from the BitTorrent network, you may need the safest apps to manage your seedbox. The idea is to stay under the radar and avoid hackers. Every app you use should be carefully selected and reviewed for security reasons.
These security features are solid. However, you should strive to find other ways to protect your device from malware. Your phone might be the most valuable asset, requiring top-notch security.