You just got your new Android device and you want to know it secure.
The last thing you want to have happen to it is for some jerk to infect it with a virus. It’s the same story every day. Someone downloads malware from the Google Play store or some other independent app network. Someone else’s privacy is compromised due to bad security settings on the phone. Well, it won’t be you. You refuse to let it happen to you. Here’s how to protect yourself.
It’s sad, but you can’t trust even the big networks. While Google Play is still fairly secure, as is Amazon’s App store, it’s not perfect, and Google has had its problems in the past with viruses making their way into the app store. Fake versions of popular games like Angry Birds and Candy Crush regularly make their way into the network.
One company is trying to change that though – the Clean App Network. It boasts ad-free and safe apps for your Android device. Aside from that, stay away from brand new versions of what look like popular and stable apps. Opt for known good apps with lots of reviews behind them.
Phishing scams on Android devices aren’t unlike the scams you get via email on your computer. Don’t click on suspicious links in emails on your device. Don’t tap links in SMS messages – even if it looks like it’s from a company you’ve done business with before. Once you click on the link, it’s all over. The bad guys will have your information and you’ll be left holding the bag.
Instead, you can do reverse cell phone number lookups for any suspicious numbers that call or text you. Most companies offering this service charge a nominal fee, so only do this if you can’t figure out who the scammer is yourself, or you are unsuccessful in blocking the number in your phone’s settings.
Once you have the number, you can investigate further. If the owner of the number is an ad agency, you can try calling them and asking them to take you off of their text list. If your research doesn’t turn up anything meaningful, block the number in your phone settings and that should solve the problem for you permanently.
If you keep getting text messages from different numbers, it may be time to report the activity to the FCC or even the local authorities, especially if you suspect someone trying to steal your identity. You may even want to go one step further and place a 90-day fraud alert with all three major credit bureaus. This will heighten the security on your credit report, and you’ll be notified if someone tries to use your identity for some other purpose.
The last thing you could possibly want is for someone to get hold of your phone while your back is turned, and install something fishy like a text message spy app on it to enjoy uninhibited access to your personal conversations. Since majority of such apps offer remote functionality, the perpetrator could quite possibly continue to spy on your device from anywhere at any time without raising any alarm. To keep yourself from landing in such a situation, you don’t really need to go around searching for an out-of-the-box solution. What you require is already there right under your nose.
The default security isn’t bad, but many people just don’t use it. Use it. Set up a strong pass code you can remember and keep your phone locked at all times. Also, adjust the settings so that if someone does steal your phone, they cannot use the apps or access features on your phone.
It doesn’t have to be a very sophisticated pass code either. The key to strong security is choosing a pass code that’s not a dictionary code and something that no one would really guess. So, don’t use your birthday, for example. And, don’t use a word that’s pronounceable or something that can be found in the dictionary.
Use a random string of letters and numbers that you will easily remember. You could choose part of your Social Security number and one letter from your dog’s name and one letter from your spouse’s name, for example. Or you could use a letter from the street you used to live on when you were a kid. Make it something obscure that a stranger wouldn’t know.
Antivirus software is a good defense against malware and viruses that slip through your defenses. When you’ve been cautious, and something gets through anyway, you’ll want a professional app onboard to help you quarantine the threat.
Stick with the big names in the business. That means stick with Trend Micro, Kaspersky, Norton, or AVAST, for example.
These companies know security, and they keep their virus definitions updated on a regular basis. And, they all have a four-star or greater rating on Google Play from thousands of users. If you’re familiar with one of these companies’ products already, go with that one. Otherwise, look over the reviews and choose the one with the features you think would benefit you the most.