A Crash Course in Android Security

I spend a lot of time online reading technical and security websites and am often baffled on the amount of misinformation I keep seeing. Several of these websites seem to promote several different third party products and services that are not really necessary in most cases. This is a modern version of the old defunct argument for Android Task Killers. Instead of promoting any third party products, lets look at three practical Android Security Tips that will keep you safe.

 Android-SecurityUse a Modern Version Of Android

It is 2015 and if you are still rocking a phone or tablet that runs anything lower then Android 4.0, Iced Cream Sandwich then it is about time you upgrade. As with all outdated operating systems, older versions of Android are plagued with several critical security holes and should not be used. Ideally, it is highly advised that you go with a “Nexus” phone as it often receives its upgrades for a minimum of 18 months and often longer.

If you are stuck using an older phone that has been abandoned by the manufacturer, you may want to look into flashing a third party ROM such as CyanogenMod as these ROMs are often maintained for years after your manufacturer stops supporting your device.

Avoid Downloading APK Files from Untrusted Websites

Ideally, you should only download Android Applications from the Google Play Store but if for whatever reason you find yourself downloading APK files directly to sideload on your phone you should be very careful.  Websites like APKMirror.com are a great way to quickly get upgrades for your phone however websites that offer pirated content should be avoided as they can often include malware. If you for any reason must download APK Files outside of the Google Play Store or Amazon App Store then this is the only time I would advise that you use an Android Anti-Virus Solution.

Read Reviews Of Applications

The Google Play Store has a wealth of applications and Google works tirelessly to police the applications to ensure that dangerous applications are not given a place to reside. The system is far from perfect and some tend to slip through the cracks. There are individuals who like to ride in on the coat tails of some of the popular applications to release fake applications that do nothing more then show ads to the user. One of the most famous examples of this happened a few weeks before the official launch of the Blackberry IM Client for Android.

fake-bbm-android

The best way to combat this are to read the reviews of the applications to see if other users report that the application is fake. You should also check the “Company” name to make sure that it is correct.

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