Android is the most vulnerable OS to malware and viruses. The open source nature of the OS and the lax checks that Google has for the apps available on its Play Store are some of the primary reasons for this. The recent major cleanup of the Play Store too doesn’t seem to help much. Below are some of the ways in which you can protect Android phone from Virus:
Don’t Install Apps from Untrusted Sources
Unlike iOS, you can install third party apps (Android Package Files or APKs) on your Android phone from outside the official Play Store. And this is a major source of Virus and Malware for Android phones. So, try to avoid installing apps from third parties. But, if there is any compelling reason for you to do so, thoroughly verify the background of the third party app developer before installing it on your phone. You can even check for the alternative apps availalbe on the Play Store.
Check Applications before Installing them from Play Store
Google has a very liberal verification system for the apps that are posted on its official Play Store. As a result many apps with virus and malware slip through its automated verification system (there is no manual verification of apps like Apple’s App Store). Google had to remove some 60,000 apps from its Play Store as they were of poor quality or infested with virus and malware. Hence there is no guarantee that all the apps available on Play Store are completely safe. Make sure to check the background of the developer and reviews from other users before installing any app from the Play Store.
Check App Permissions
Checking the app permissions for all the apps installed is another important step to protect Android phone from virus and malware. App permissions are the approvals that an app will seek to access data on your phone. Be careful with apps which seek too many permissions or a permission to access unnecessary information in your phone. Apps infested with virus and malware generally ask for more permissions to damage your phone and steal data. For example, there is no reason for a video recording app to access your phone book.
Install a Good Antivirus App
Always install a good antivrus app on your Android phone. This will go a long way in protecting your Android phone from virus and other malware. Antivirus apps screen the data that is being downloaded and all the apps that are being installed on the phone. Even though mobile OS are more secure than their PC counterparts, having an Antivirus app installed on your Android phone will give you some peace of mind. Some of the good Antivirus apps for Andriod phones are: avast! Mobile Security, AntiVirus Security, Kaspersky Mobile Security Lite, and McAfee Antivirus and Security. Most of these Antivirus apps are free and very easy to install.
Be Careful While Browsing the Internet
Internet is of course the biggest source of virus and malware. When you are browsing the Internet, try not to click on any suspicious links. Links promoting lotteries, free cash, and free vacations can have virus and malware which can seriously affect your Android smart phones. Clicking and downloading any data from such links is like inviting unnecessary trouble.