Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

How to keep your Android phone free from malware

Keep your personal data and devices safe from attack

Article comments

Since more and more malware is emerging for the Android platform every day, you must pay strict attention to what is happening on your phone or tablet. Smartphones are essentially computers, and all computers are vulnerable to viruses, phishing and other attacks from malicious software.

Here are five quick tips to help you keep your Android phone or tablet free of malware.

Always research the publisher of an app

What other apps does it offer? Does the publisher have its own website? Do any of the other apps look a bit shady? If so, you should probably stay away.

Read online reviews, but remember that Android Market reviews may not always be truthful. Check around to see what reputable websites such as AppBrain or AppLib are saying about the app before you press the download button.

Always check app permissions

Whenever you download or update an app, you see a list of permissions for it. An alarm clock app, for instance, probably shouldn't need to look through your contacts. The general rule of thumb: If an app is asking for more than what it needs to do its job, you should skip it.

Avoid directly installing Android Package files (APKs)

When Angry Birds first came to Android, you could get it only through a third party app store and "sideloading" it, installing the app by using an APK file. Although Angry Birds wasn't malware, in general it is highly advisable not to download and install APK files from third party websites or app stores. Most of the time you won't know what the file contains until you install the file, and by then it's too late.

Put a malware and antivirus scanner on your phone

Several different big name security companies already offer mobile security options, many of them free. Antivirus apps such as Lookout Mobile Security can scan your phone and make sure that no malware is installed.

On top of that, most of the utilities include features that allow you to track your phone, and perhaps even remotely lock it and wipe your personal data, if you lose the handset.

Watch out for scams

Believe it or not, your smartphone is prone to phishing scams, malicious sites and drive-by downloads, just as your PC is. Malicious sites often try to trick people into entering personal information about themselves. Even more annoying however, is some sites' ability to automatically download malware to your phone.

Because of a phone's smaller screen, users are three times more likely to click a suspicious link on a phone than when they are using a PC. Lookout Mobile Security has your back: Its Safe Browsing feature is currently available in the Premium version of its app.

If you follow these steps and keep a watchful eye on your device, you should be able to enjoy your phone malware-free.


More from Techworld

More relevant IT news


Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *