Android faces numerous security challenges that are not so easy to overcome. Matt Cooke, senior product marketing manager at Sophos, claims that the current hacking tendencies mainly shift from laptops into mobile devices. As a result, such a flexible and changeable system as Android becomes even more open to threats than before due to its inclusivity and a vast number of third-party applications downloaded into it. In the following material, we will observe the recent and freshest threats and estimate an opportunity for Android to become safe and secure in the nearest future.
What is the risk?
As was mentioned above, the secure Android OS is a complicated task. The possible threats can be observed on three possible levels such as
- Accesses and permissions
Therefore, the preliminary overview already points out that Android has numerous issues to address. Where do the risks even come from?
1. User’s behavior. Oh yes, this one goes directly into the user’s hands. Have you always check your Android device for viruses with the in-built feature “Security”? If not, you should consider some of the necessary Android hygiene you need to follow. Thus, having a Google account can already complicate the matter as you need to be sure that all the applications you do not use are already disconnected. Always remove access to your Google account through the Settings and delete all the unnecessary applications, passwords, and other features connected to it.
2. Negligence. If your applications stay open for way too long, their passwords might get intercepted by hackers, cybercriminals, malware within your system, and other harmful tools to decrease your system’s performance. Visit your password manager as often as you can to observe obsolete, interchanged, or, on the contrary, leaked passwords to have an opportunity to change them timely. Passwords manager app for Android is equally an excellent option if remembering your password is not your cup of tea.
3. IoT. The smarter devices are interlinked with your Android, the weaker it becomes for the security system to handle them all. IoT devices that unite your car, computer, gadget, smart TV, and other similar equipment are currently an easy target for hackers, Harvard Business Review (HBR) marks out. To avoid those issues, make sure that you have a VPN installed and checked on your Android to confuse cybercriminals in chasing your IP. Additionally, your location is not your Internet provider’s business anyway.
4. Malware. The activities called “Smishing” cause numerous Android users to download third-party software and different free-of-charge applications. While numerous customers do not pay much attention to that, they likely download malware, trojans, spyware, and malware into their system. They not only slow down your Android and make your battery life shorter but cause your sensitive data disclosure to the phishers. For example, such things as banking trojans gain access to your credit card and perform operations in web stores you are not interested in. This should additionally motivate you to consider installing antivirus software. For example, Avira Prime is made explicitly for Androids. There are entire collections of similar tools that might interest you, and select something to your purse and personal preferences.
5. Phishing. Advanced phishing is an issue in 2021. Microsoft’s recent survey showed that more than 90% of security poll respondents ever suffered a phishing attack. If laptop-based data is more comfortable to locate and put into the statistics, it is reasonably possible to firmly provide a reasonable amount of data phished from smartphones worldwide. Still, phishing is getting smarter by parading as informative sites (e.g., on vaccines), “business” portals, social media applications, quizzes and polls, and other scams based on easy profit. To avoid that, make sure you have DNS filtering or 360-antivirus software to protect your Android from such third-party links or applications.
6. Data leak. The possible risk for your business activities lies in the business-related data disclosure. Riskware apps that are usually signed as your corporate tools have broad permissions that can be easily overlooked, resulting in the corporate data leak. 2018 Cybersecurity Week reported that Google app markers in the Middle East might sometimes pretend to be the part of chat apps while serving as surveillance as soon as it is downloaded. Since that, you are watched without your permission. So, if you wish to be protected, make sure that your application does not request data collection permission or suspicious integrated tools.
7. Hacking. Last but not least, hacking attacks are as dangerous as always. Androids are somewhat vulnerable in their structure, and numerous third-party applications can be successfully installed in them. Even such giants as Google Play threw out more than 700,000 applications with suspicious/violating permissions that could have been exploited by third parties and persons-of-interest. The possible solutions lie in avoiding applications that are easily customized and have developed features in their structure. Otherwise, the unaware users might get somewhat visible harm from their functioning.
Never say never?
Still, experts from Harvard Business Review assure us that sooner or later, Android will stop suffering from the threats mentioned above. Despite the seeming problematic nature of Androids, they still can be maintained safe, experts explain. Therefore, keeping your system up-to-date and regularly renewing your applications should already considerably lower the risk of possible data leaks. Additionally, fingerprint authentication should successfully replace manual passwords that are quickly forgotten.
Otherwise, keeping your passwords written somewhere outside your phone is equally rather useful advice. Lastly, experts state that Android back-ups are an efficient way of keeping your Android set in the way you prefer. This will considerably lower the risk of data loss if significant errors or the necessity to perform hard resets. Overall, the forecast is comparatively optimistic, while the security of our Androids remains the matter of our conscience.
So, when Androids are going to become safe? The probable answer might not make you happy. In the nearest future, that cannot be fully secured from all the possible risks existing in cyberspace. Still, it does not matter that you cannot protect your favorite gadget and ensure your sensitive activities from the prying eyes.
The simple principle of regular backups, updates, and antivirus checks proved to be the best possible options for the current Android threats. The majority of the threats mentioned above are easily avoided manually and regularly. Also, keep track of your IoT environment and disconnect your gadgets as soon as you finish your operations. Remember that cautiousness is never off fashion, as well as cybersecurity literacy overall.