Android is currently the most popular mobile operating system worldwide, mostly because the spread of the brands using Android in the market and their availability. However, Android is user-oriented, a user can tweak an Android smartphone the way they want. To provide this flexibility, Android had to give up some of its integrity, and the file protection on Android could be either really tight or really fragile depending on how the user handles the device. However, if you are new to Android, following are few tips that could help you protect the data stored on your Android device.
Screen Lock for Basic Protection
Not just Android, but the display lock is the basic protection for any smartphone out there. Android offers few different types of screen lock features, pattern and PIN is the most popular of them all. Few modern Android smartphones offer fingerprint lock for screen lock and data encryption. Usually if a wrong unlock method is entered for 5 times consecutively, the smartphone gets blocked for few minutes.
Plenty of security apps are available in the app store for data encryption. These apps bring major changes in the files stored, order of the bits are jumbled to make sure only the corresponding app can decrypt them and a PIN is typically used to ensure only authorized access to the system. However, if using third party apps for basic security doesn’t feel comfortable then Android offers a native device encryption feature inside Security Settings.
Android Device Manager
This app works pretty much like Find My iPhone in iPhones. Using Android Device Manager, a user can locate their Android device on Google Maps, remotely lock or wipe the device, sound a loud ringtone to locate the device and customize an on-screen message if the device is lost, or theft. To enable the option, navigate to the Administrator Settings located inside Security Settings. There’s an app available in the app store by the same name, and user can login to a web interface on their PCs as well.
Limit Data Storage in External Storage
While having external storage option in an Android smartphone is a great plus point, it is always recommended that what type of data should be kept in a memory card be filtered by the user. User’s multimedia content like photos, videos and music could be stored without any concern but sensitive data like personal photos and videos, banking information, confidential business data etc. shouldn’t be stored on memory cards.
Apps from Unknown Sources
Installing apps from outside of Google Play Store is a freedom that Android users get right out of the box, but malwares could infect an Android device this way. Since apps from the unknown sources aren’t commonly verified by the Google Play Store, neither Google nor your device manufacturer will take any responsibility if you lose data this way. Do your own homework before installing apps from unknown sources.
Unless Needed, Don’t Root
Android devices offer system core access if a device is rooted, but unless you absolutely need it, don’t root an Android device. Every app on the smartphone might get access to the phone’s core system, including the malwares.
Following these practices could get a user a smooth usage experience on Android ecosystem. Additionally, a security app might be installed for better protection.
For sure, you are completely aware of the fact that mobile devices, specially those Android ones, are common targets for viruses and malicious malwares. As a matter of fact, there are lots of people in the world who consider Android devices as virus and malware magnets, since they are very easy to be infected by these threats.
In other words, Android devices have bad reputation when it comes to digital security matters. Just in case you don’t know, there are a lot of threats online that your device may get when you are surfing the net. Some of these threats are adwares, ransomware, spyware, and Trojan.
How Dangerous Viruses and Malwares Are to Your Android Devices
When talking about viruses and malwares, people will automatically think that their Android devices will become completely unusable once they are infected by these threats. However, little did you know that this is not always the case. It is simply because threats differ from one another in several aspects. There are those threats that are not that capable of wrecking out the system of your Android completely. Sometimes, they are just there to annoy you. These can be in advertisement forms that are constantly sent to your device. Some are even just strategies by other people in acquiring more views and visits for their sites, blogs, or videos. Even so, you should know that there are also those viruses and malwares that are intentionally made just to make the system of your Androids shut down completely. If you are unlucky enough, you might just get one of these very destructive threats.
You should know that viruses and malwares may compromise some extremely confidential data that you have got such as your bank account number, credit card details and the like. With that being said, you might just find yourself confronted with a considerable amount of credit card bills and some other obligations you need to settle with. What happens here is that you might have clicked a particular link that is part of the third party’s phishing scam. By just clicking on the link, other people may then be able to know your important details, causing them to access your various accounts without any sweat at all. This is the reason why you need to be very careful on what you are doing, clicking, or downloading online. Always keep in mind that not all apps on the web are authentic and threat-free even though they look like one.
How Antivirus Can Be Helpful for Your Androids
If you don’t want to become one of those people in the world who are unfortunate victims of numerous online threats, the best thing that you can do is have your own reliable antivirus program to your Android device. A reliable antivirus software is capable enough in detecting some malicious softwares even though they look so real within your naked eyes. It can also help in removing or deleting those threats from your Android’s system.
This answers the question why you need to use antivirus on your Android device. Be careful and be a responsible Android device user.
A computer can catch viruses, or malwares at any moment, especially on machines that are not protected by an anti-malware program. There are few very specific symptoms by which you can judge whether some sort of malicious program has nested in your computer. For example, the reduction in computing speed is one of the very common outcome a virus puts in a computer.
Unwanted pop ups, failure of .dll files, corruption of installed programs, regular files turning into shortcuts and the original getting hidden – these are few symptoms malwares would show when they somehow make way to your computer. If you need to cure your PC of any of these symptoms, following steps are your savior.
Get into Safe Mode: Safe Mode in Windows is designed to only run the absolutely necessary options in a computer, thus almost none of your third party installations will run in your computer. While this sounds kind of rude, it helps stopping the virus application in your PC, while only the necessary processes run to boot up the computer. Usually, the Safe Mode is entered through pressing the F8 button on any computer, however some manufacturers might define a separate Safe Mode button on a computer. Please check with your manufacturer’s website if F8 doesn’t work. When the Safe Mode screen shows up on screen, select Safe Mode with Networking so that you get internet connectivity.
Get Rid of Temporary Files: While you are inside Safe Mode, clean the Temporary Files folder inside Windows folder. You could do this manually, or simple use the Disk Cleanup tool. The tool is located inside Accessories> System Tools> Disk Cleanup for most operating systems. However, for Windows 8 and Windows 10 users, using the search bar to open Disk Cleanup will be helpful.
Use a Third Party Malware Scanner: Booted in safe mode and cleaned the temporary files; now your computer is ready for a malware scanner to be installed. You could have installed a malware cleaner through regular Windows mode and without cleaning the temporary files, but the effectiveness of that installation would have remained in question. Since the virus or malware infection would have remained active in regular mode, the installation of malware scanner might have faced interruption and get corrupted. However, install an on-demand malware scanner for more effective scan of your system.
Malwarebytes, for example: As described in the previous process, user can get Malwarebytes for an effective scan of the system. It’s an on demand malware scanner, and unlike the real-time protection software Malwarebytes can actually provide with an in-depth scan and generate comprehensive report on the detected malwares on a system. Download Malwarebytes from this link and install as you normally would a software.
Quick scan takes time, depending on the size of your hard drive the duration could vary between 30 and 60 minutes. However, the detection of malwares would be shown in real time and also the action taken against those files.
This procedure intends to help a computer user whose device has been already compromised by a malware. If your computer is still infection free, it’s high time you got yourself a good antivirus program before a malware infection takes place.