How to protect your smartphone from malware

Malware can perform different functions. Some of the harmful apps are not really harmful. Such apps may simply occupy some of your RAM without doing anything. But more often there’s malware that sends SMS on paid numbers, download other software without notifying a user, some apps are even rumored to be able to cause physical damage to your device hardware.

Situation with mobile operating systems is quite different from that with PCs, where you can install anti-virus. Some users simply can’t afford installing anti-virus as it will consume too much RAM. Also, the situation differs with different operating systems. For example Apple’s iOS is a pretty close system and the company watches the quality of most apps released for it. Android is an open operating system. It means that you don’t need any specific permissions to develop apps for it. Read more info about android app development here

That’s why the number of Android developers exceeds the number of iOS developers. And accordingly, it’s more difficult to watch the quality of Android apps that appear. Still there’re some simple steps that you’re recommended to follow if you don’t want to get any malware.

Install apps from trustworthy sources

Both Play Store and Google Play control the apps that are submitted to the shops. And in most cases all apps that contain malware are not allowed in them. In case they have missed anything, the apps are quickly deleted both from the stores and from the devices they have been installed on (after the first Internet connection). So you can safely download and install new apps from there. But there’re also other reliable sources. There’re several large communities of independent developers where you can find great apps, and which are monitored by the developers themselves. These are safe too. In other cases I’d recommend to think twice before installing a new app from unknown source.

Read comments

You can leave comments in most places where apps are available for download (official stores, most forums). So in case you see that several people have left the comments about the app containing a virus, then you’d better heavily consider the reasonability of downloading it. Surely, a single comment is not a proof so it’s better to read more about the app or make some inquiries. Also check the rating of the app as a lot of negative marks can also indicate malfunctions of apps.

Watch app permissions

Smart mobile browsers very often block pop-up windows and harmful scripts on sites. Apart from that, a user is often asked whether he would like to perform the following operation. It’s better not to ignore such notifications and read carefully what is shown on the screen. iOS apps ask your permission for pop-ups and geo-location, other permissions are issued when the app is submitted to App Store. So it’s difficult to program an app that will send hidden SMS but nevertheless you still need to be careful.

Android always shows a user what the app is allowed. You can see this information when installing an app, right before the “Install” button. So I’d recommend reading these permissions and consider whether an app needs them or not.

Use popular apps

As strange as it may sound, but I wouldn’t recommend becoming one of the first to use a new app. Here’s an example. A lot of apps offer free messages and free calls. I’ve found a new app that claimed the same. I waited for some feedback for about a week, and when I saw that there were no negative comments I decided to install the app. Indeed, it offered free calls and SMS but only for about a month, after that the option became paid. Very often the situation is opposite. There’re few comments and a couple of positive comments can be left by the developers themselves.

Watch your money balance and traffic

Mobile operators offer such a service as monthly detailed report about your calls and messages. You may use it to check if there’re any apps that steal your money. Apart from that, all operating system have built-in traffic counters that help you to watch your consumption of Internet traffic. You can also see what app consumes most of the traffic. And while high traffic consumption is normal for social networks, it’s strange if your freshly installed live wallpaper consumes even more traffic.

Don’t crack your device

I’m sure you’ve heard about rooting for Android devices and jailbreaking for iOS devices. It means that you can unblock all the functions, even those available for developers only, and customize your operating system the way you like. But you should have enough experience to do that. Otherwise you expose your device to additional dangers.

Not all viruses are dangerous

Here’s what I mean by this sub-heading. Not long ago Google released Google Setting – an app that just appeared on your device without you installing it. But the app wasn’t harmful. In fact, it was even useful for some users. But the thing is that a lot of users heard about this app after it was installed on their devices and that caused some worries around the Internet.

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