Android becomes more and more popular these days. According to Google, there are more than 2,5 billion active Android devices. All those devices contain some vital data that belongs to their users. Of course, various scammers want to steal that data, and use it in their frauds. In this article, we will help you protect your Android device from scammers.
1. Use passwords and locks
This is the first and the easiest thing to do. No matter how careful you are, there is always a risk that you may lose your phone or someone may steal it from you. If you have a strong password on your device, then scammers won’t be able to use your phone to get access to your data. It is better not to use graphic keys, fingerprints, and face id since these methods are the easiest to break. The best option is to use a strong password. In case if your account is compromised, you will easily change the password, but you can’t change your fingerprint.
2. Be careful with app installation
If you are not very interested in modern gadgets and other computing systems, then it is better not to install apps that you don’t know. Even from Google Play. And you definitely should forget about installing apps from other than Google Play sources at all. Google checks apps before they add them to their market. While on the internet, you can find apps that may have a double bottom and may steal your private data. So, if you want to meet girls on Facebook, it is better to use official Facebook client instead of downloading something from various websites.
3. Forget about rooting your phone
It is not only about the fact that you can easily turn your phone into a brick if you fail to root in the right way, but it is also about the fact that root right turn you into a superuser. Superuser on Linux(Android) has almost unlimited access to all the apps and systems. Thus, apps that you use as a superuser, have the same rights, and it is way easier for them to steal your data or cause some other harm.
4. Be careful with used phones
Sometimes buying a used phone is a very good option, because you may get a relatively new device for a very low price. But unfortunately, this approach puts your security at risk. You can never know who was the previous user of this phone. Of course, you may know his or her face, name, phone number, etc. But this won’t help you if he or she has installed some spying apps on your phone. In the worst cases, scammers rewrite the core of the operating system and insert the virus there. When this happens, even resetting a smartphone to factory settings won’t do much.
5. Pay attention to the permissions
Sometimes apps, even from the Google play market, require inadequate permissions. For example, a simple book reader may require access to your camera, microphone, contact list, and SMS messages. Only the developers of this app know for what purposes they will use those permissions and stored data. Thus, it is better not to give any permissions that directly do not affect the functions of a certain app.
6. Monitor your Internet usage
By monitoring your Internet usage, you will easily see that some apps use the Internet way too often. Usually, scammers send a lot of information via the help of your phone. If you see, that some fitness app uses too much internet traffic, especially when you don’t use it and it is not updating, it means that it sends something to someone. Usually, fraudsters’ apps send voice records, videos, and your keyboard usage recordings. The same principle can be applied to apps that use your battery too much. Especially if you don’t use those apps very often.
Turn off Wi-Fi, location services, and Bluetooth if you’re not using them. Through these tools, scammers and fraudsters can easily access your device. Make sure Bluetooth is turned off and not in stealth mode. Do not completely remove the restrictions on your device – this weakens its protection.
7. Install updates
Unfortunately, many users neglect updates, but there is a reason for that. Sometimes, after updates, apps don’t function normally, and users have to wait for the next update that will fix this issue. But let’s be honest about it, this doesn’t happen too often, and even when it does, developers fix problems in less than a day, while without updates, you can’t fix the vulnerabilities that scammers may use to steal your data.
8. Follow links carefully
Never follow suspicious links from emails and text messages, as they may contain viruses or suggest installing malicious software. It’s better to delete questionable messages before opening them. Carefully check the abbreviated Internet addresses and QR codes – they can lure you to dangerous websites or automatically download the virus on your smartphone, and you won’t notice any changes until it’s too late.
Bottom line, to protect yourself from malicious programs that can be used to steal your bank account details or other personal information, you should install applications only from official stores, check the permissions requested by the application (if the calculator or flashlight app requires access to the camera, phone microphone, or asks to keep track of your calls and text messages, is a reason to become suspicious). And don’t forget about scanning your device with the antivirus regularly. Better safe than sorry.