Some people just don’t understand how easy it is these days to hack into any electronic device that we own. Mobile phones have evolved from that electronic brick that sat in your pocket that made and received both phone calls and text messages, to a touch-screen portable computer that contains lots of information about you. This information about you is traceable and downloadable and could potentially be shared with the entire World Wide Web if you are not careful enough. Like it or not, ANDROID IS THE MOST HACKED MOBILE OPERATING SYSTEM, so how do we protect ourselves from this dangerous threat?
The Mentality Of Malicious Hackers
Regardless of reason, as long as electronic devices exist, there will always be hackers. While there are many speculations to warrant a reason to why people hack maliciously, most would agree that the reason is similar to the reason why people choose to build their own computers, because they can! What we have to remember however is that not all malicious hackers are bad. Some hackers for example might be corporate spies, whose job is to often obtain a particular piece of intellectual property or competitive information or hacktivist groups like anonymous, who fight for what they believe in.
Apps For Decreasing Vulnerability
There are many helpful apps that exist for Android users to help decrease the vulnerability of their device. These are by far the easiest way of securing your device without having to change any of your phone usage habits, which I will explain later.
Anti-Virus & Malware Removal Tools
Mobile phones are probably just as advanced (if not more) than the original windows 98 desktop computer that I owned for about 8 years of my life before my father chucked it out. That plucky white tower that was always thinking, incredibly noisy and never gave up. Most computer literate people would consider it to be madness to have a computer without an anti-virus software (or at least a firewall) because of the sheer number of threats, exploits and malicious attacks that happen every day online. If you bought an android phone with Everything Everywhere, then you probably already have an anti-virus software known as lookout. However you probably want to get Avast, which provides some of the best security features that I’ve seen for Android devices. Other notable security apps include CM security, AVG and McAffee all of which scored quite high for Android protection.
Using VPNs For Wi-Fi Hotspots
When using Wi-Fi hotspots, it’s important to remember that your data isn’t encrypted. That means that if you’re using POP3 connections for your email then a hacker can obtain the credentials for that account. This goes for anything that’s not done through a secure connection. It therefore doesn’t take a genius to figure out that hackers could setup their own “Wi-Fi traps”. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) creates an encrypted tunnel between your device and the VPN server, which means that any potential hackers can’t access any of the data being sent. There are plenty of VPN apps to look at, including free and paid service ones. I’d recommend looking at this article for VPN services, although I personally use cyberghost because it’s free and effective.
Now here’s an awesome app that can be a bit fiddly to install. It’s called Wi-Fi protector and is designed to detect and prevent ARP spoofing attacks against your phone in Wi-Fi networks. If the system detects abnormal behaviour, then it will alert you about the attack. On rooted devices, it’s also possible to make your device immune to attacks. The official thread, which includes download links can be found here.
These actually require you the user to change how you use your phone. These methods make no modifications to the phone itself, but nevertheless are useful.
Don’t Install From Unknown Sources
Didn’t you father ever tell you not to download something from the internet willy nilly? That’s right, you’ve got to check where it’s come from. Of course you could install an amazing apk from a good website and equally you could have just signed the death certificate for your phone, is it really worth the risk?
Avoid Rooting Your Phone
Unless you really know what you’re doing and given everything a good hard long think that is. Not only could you completely brick your phone, but you’re letting malware walk straight into your phone especially if you don’t have anti-virus installed, oh and you will void your warranty as well! You’ll also want to protect your phone on the permission front which is fairly easy if you’ve got SuperSU
Read The Permissions
What does the app want to do, does it really want to make you a cup of tea or send 100,000,000 text messages each containing your biggest secret? Just take a quick look through the permissions and if anything seems dodgy, well obviously don’t install the app.
Use Mobile Banking Apps WITH EXTREME CAUTION
There’s already a million and one vulnerabilities and worries with online banking full stop let alone using a mobile app in the middle of music festival! There’s still a lot more security required for these apps before we can all safely use these wherever we are all the time. You should use these with extreme caution and don’t even think about downloading one through email or text message!
THERE ARE ALWAYS VULNERABILITIES
- It doesn’t matter what device you have
- It doesn’t matter what counter measures are in place
- It doesn’t matter how careful you are
WE CAN ALL BE HACKED it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will, just don’t rule it out. The advice I have given today will help you to avoid being hacked, it’s up to you now. I wouldn’t sweat too much though no one I’ve known has ever been hacked on Android, as long as you follow the advice above you’ll be fine.