Tips to avoid Android spyware

Tips to avoid Android spyware
If you own an Android the chances are you’ve heard, or experienced, one horror story after another about data theft and privacy invasion that comes as first nature to malware meant for Android phones. Android spyware is nothing new and the platform is home to a plethora of cell phone spy apps. There are apps that will pretend to be games (like the Drop.dialer fiasco earlier this year) and steal your information and cost you a buck load of money you never knew you were spending, and then there are apps that other people can use to spy on you, using your own phone. Sure the Jelly Bean is slated to slash all security issues to pieces, but just because it’s coming out doesn’t mean your phone will be compatible with it – unless you can easily jump from one phone to another.

Most advice starts by telling Android users to be afraid… be very afraid of Android spyware. Of course if you’re smart about it there’s no reason for you to suffer at the hand of disastrous malware.

Do some digging

There are barely any obscure weird apps that can suit only a few people. There’s a plethora of apps available for a plethora of usages. If you do a little bit of homework you can easily find out which ones are good at what you do and which ones aren’t. If you find an app you like then spend a little time getting to know it better, peek into its reviews, which serve the same purpose dirty laundry does. If you find something off about the app then steer clear. Make sure you go through a good number of reviews and not just a handful because reviews can be rigged by developers at times (which is also why opting for an app created by a well known developer is a better idea). Don’t just randomly download whatever pretty apps you find – be smart about what you’re putting into your phone.

Keep it legal

Do you own a customized Android? By that I mean were you one of the smart folk who think it’s a good idea to void your warranty and root your Android? If you think that was a good idea, you’re oh so very wrong. The best way to give malware a free pass to do whatever it pleases, and potentially open yourself up to the beautiful world of stealth apps i.e. cell phone spy apps. You could have an app track everything down to the pictures you take, the calls you make, the texts you send etc. Apps like these can even track your location through your GPS. You’re not doing anyone any favors by rooting your Android, unless you’re a tech genius in which case malware would be the least of your problems, wouldn’t it? Probably not.

Don’t stray for the official store

The Play Store is the place to be if you want to avoid most, not all, malicious apps. Google doesn’t have such a good track record with ridding the store of malware and spyware; however, it does have the Bouncer in place and to a large extent that does mean that it is actively looking for and removing apps that can harm you.  And while most would scoff at the idea that Google is doing anything to rid the Android platform of malware the reality is that with the JellyBean they’ve proved that they are making an effort – however effective it maybe is up for debate.

Whatchya doin’ there?

Ask your apps that question. Go through the permissions before you download an app. If it’s a game and it’s asking you for permissions to make calls, access your texts, access your GPS then something maybe off. The problem with Android is that you can’t manually control the permissions that are allotted to your apps (unlike the scorned BlackBerry which is ironically still the most secure platform around). Most users don’t give permissions a second thought, but you would be amazed at the kind of information apps ask to indulge in. Even if you’ve brought on an app that isn’t malicious, the data that it collects can be stolen by another malware based app. So you need to really look at what you’re allowing apps to do on your phone.

About the Guest Author:
This article is written by Jessica, she is a tech writer. Her work on mobistealth web application for monitoring has received great appreciation from readers who look to her keep themselves updated with the latest news regarding mobile apps. Her writings also help users who wish to take sneak peeks inside the mobile industry.
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