5 Tips to Keep Hackers Out of Your Android Device

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It might be a little overreaching, but saying ‘Android is everywhere’ is almost true. Making up more than 75% of the entire smartphone market, Android is the operating system behind the majority of our mobile navigation.

That said, Android also the operating system at a higher risk of suffering malware attacks and hacker trials. Since the OS hosts a lot of devices, hackers have the extra motivation to target it. Let’s show you a couple of ways to tighten up your ship and keep the pirates out.

1 Always Update Your Apps
You might not have heard about it, but there was a recent WhatsApp vulnerability which allowed the Israeli government to install malware on the app. This malware will affect any and everyone who has the WhatsApp app on their phones.

With that, the government can harvest all the information they need about such a user, as well as the messages they send and receive.

Once WhatsApp got wind of this issue, they sent out a patch to fix it. In other words, users who updated their apps with the fix would no longer be victims to such an attack.

This is just one example that shows you how important it is that you keep the apps on your phone updated at all times. Do not think the updates are only there to make the outlook of the app fancier than before – but think that it could be to keep you and your data safe.

2 … And Your Phone Too
While an attack on any app can be quelled by simply not using such an app, system attacks are even more serious.

For those who are using high-end Android units (or those from top manufacturers), you will notice that your OEM sends you a Google security patch every month. This patch aims to keep every bug that has been discovered in the Android platform for the past month at bay.

If Google didn’t see any need to fix those issues, they would not be helping you patch them every month. This goes a long way to show you just how important it is that you install any and all updates coming to your system as soon as you get them.

Speaking of system updates…

3 Buy from a Trusted OEM
There are a lot of Android manufacturers out there today, and it is so hard to keep up with all of them. Some of these manufacturers have been in the game long enough while others are just starting out.

One thing that you will observe about the different OEMs is that the trusted ones who have been in the business long enough support their units after release. The others, however, just churn out their units without regard for updates – and then they go on to make other units.

It would be in your best interest to go with a manufacturer who cares about you enough to update your devices even after purchase. This is the only way you can ensure the system is always kept safe against new threats in the market.

Examples of such OEMs are Samsung (you might have to shell out for their high-end units to be sure of constant updates), OnePlus, Huawei and LG, to mention but a few.

READ MOREHow to Easily Disable or Bypass Android pattern using Adb via PC

4 Desist from Sideloading
Google knows that the beauty of the Android platform is in having a slew of apps to pick from. They also know that apps are one of the best ways to sneak malicious codes onto your unit, but they do not want any of that for you.

Thus, they came up with the novel idea of a Play Store.

What the Play Store does, to the normal eye, is offer a lot of apps in the same place. On the inside, though, it serves as a policing tool to ensure all apps you are installing are checked against malicious codes which could otherwise hurt the performance of your unit, steal your data and/ or monitor your activity.

Enter sideloading

In simple terms, sideloading is what happens when you install apps from sources other than the Google Play Store. By so doing, you leave your unit vulnerable to an unchecked app which could come with all the things Play Store is helping you fight against.

With such a sideloaded app, an experienced hacker can launch a keylogger, virus, or any other form of malware on your device.

5 Back-up Your Files
The best security measures are put in place to greatly reduce the risk of an attack – not necessarily to prevent such attacks from happening at all. This means with all that you have implemented from above, a hacker could still exploit a chink in your armor.

Fortunately, you do not have to be helpless in such situations.

Backing up your files is the best way to go in this case. It is recommended that you keep an offline and online backup of your files to eliminate the total loss of your data. That way, even when the security breach gets to a head, you can simply wipe your unit and start all over again.

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6 Get a VPN
The first question on your mind could be how a VPN stands to help you at all. Well, in many ways than one.

Besides the obvious advantage of being able to access a slew of content from anywhere in the world, installing a VPN on your Android device also allows you to gain control of your privacy.

Coming with a lot of servers, VPNs work by tunneling your internet data through all of these server layers in such a way that your internet traffic cannot be traced by anyone. That makes it impossible for anyone to track you, identify your computer or record your data – even if you are on an unprotected public WIFI network!
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