Malware has been a problem for Android users for long now – from the latest Pokemon Go fake versions to the Judy scam, we have seen all kind of fake apps spam us or people we know available on Google Play Store. These apps can lock a phone once installed. You would have to either get the battery out or go down the Android Device Manager Route to get into your phone again. These apps can sure affect your device and its functionality – and that prospect is for sure scary enough for most of us to know more about malware so we can stay safe. Some of these apps will feature ads and spam you.
These can display messages saying your device has been infected, which will send you crashing down looking for ways to get your device safe leading to futile purchases. Good news is that Google has tried its best to keep the Android users safe from these spamming apps by removing some of them from Play Store however it is a long way to go as many of these are still not discovered as malware. The most malicious malware to infect Android via Play Store has to be the Judy scam which basically showcased itself to be a different app on cooking or gaming but was in fact an adware.
It affected both Android and Apple devices, and it took about 36 million devices down before being discovered as malicious software. The only way to stay safe in these conditions is to know where the danger is because as they say better safe than sorry. We have listed some of these ways below, let us know if you found them useful in the comments section.
No Third Party App Stores
Well, we know that the malware we mentioned was in fact found on Play Store itself, but beware – the third party apps are indeed more possibly an attempt to spam you. Our advice to you is avoid the third party app stores, specially the ones which do not have any filter or check on their content. And it would be infinitely better if you could just hang around the trusted old Play Store.
Always Check the App Developer
Before you click that Install button on any app, do check out the developer – this will always make sure you do not get any duplicate apps which are trying to masquerade as any other app. Simply check the developer’s name and verify the app you are about to install is original. Let’s take the example of the Pokemon Go fake versions. The app is originally made by Niantic. If you check the developer and it is not Niantic, the app you are about to download is fake. Usually a google search will tell you all about the developer of the app, and you can authenticate it prior downloading.
Look Out for App Reviews
It is important that you read the reviews of the app before installing it. All the famous apps have loads of reviews done by users and experts on their Play Store page. You can also check out what the critics and different tech blogs and websites say about that particular app. This way you can be sure about an app’s authenticity and help you stay away from malware.
Get a Security Software
You most probably would have an antivirus or some other sort of security wall on your desktop or laptop, and you should do the same for your phone. Mostly companies like Avast!, Kaspersky, AVG and others would provide you smartphone versions of their products. You can also go for some free (but reputed) options. Or try out the premium versions which would have you pay some fees. Your device will be scanned, and anything suspicious would either be blocked from downloading or issued a warning against time and again.
Update Your Android Regularly
We all have been guilty to ignore those frequent Android update messages, but we can not emphasise their importance more. It will keep your device safe from all the recent security issues.
Read Tech Security Related News
Mostly when a breach in security is discovered, it is reported in media by the security companies, which in deed uncover such incidents. The Judy case was also in fact discovered by a company called Eset. Keeping updated on news that is covering tech security will help you avoid any new malicious apps that have been discovered recently. For example when the Ransomware news came out, it saved many users from getting hacked.
We hope that these tips help you prevent any malware app finding its way to your device. However if you have already downloaded one and your device is mis-functioning, please reset your phone to factory settings given that you have a backup of all your data. Again, backups are incredibly important to have your device safe at all times. Once you do the factory reset, your phone would be back to the shape it was in on day one. Now simply restore all your data from the backup you have and make sure you do not accidentally or unknowingly get your malware restored too, and you would be good to go.