How to avoid malware on Android devices?

ernard

Like any other operating system that becomes popular, Android is a target of individuals that want to install malware on devices. Earlier this week, Google removed thousands of apps from Google Play, although many of them were junk apps, and not specifically malware. You always hear about being careful to avoid installing malware, but exactly what do you do to exercise that level of care? Let's face it, not every developer is EA or Google, most of them are unknown developers that are (hopefully) honest, but how can I tell which ones aren't and which apps are malware?

Topic: Security
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Christopher Nerney
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You have to exercise some due diligence. That means first making sure you're downloading an app from the developer or Google Play, and not from a third-party source. Second, read the reviews of the app wherever you can find them. If the app is malware, someone will be talking about it online.

It's also wise to install anti-malware software specifically for Android. Again, check reviews.

Finally, just do a search on the name of the app along with the word "malware" to see what turns up.

jimlynch
Vote Up (11)

Here are some tips to avoid malware on your Android device:

1. Always have a good anti-malware, anti-virus app installed.

2. Don't side-load apps from untrusted sources.

3. Stick to well known and trusted developers in the Google Play store.

owen
Vote Up (10)

The two main things are to only install mature applications that have a track record of significant installs  and lots of reviews, and check out the developer to see what else they have done and whether there are complaints about their other apps. This is far from perfect, but it can help avoid a lot of problems.

The anti-virus programs on Android phones are mostly a waste of time, but some of them can alert you to apps that are hiding malware. Sometimes anyway. They can also give you false positives.
 
One piece of advice that I've always found useless is to review the apps permissions. Well, good luck getting many apps that actually respect your privacy. Plus, just to function many apps need permissions for access to things that aren't apparent at first glance. Yeah, in an ideal world I would only install apps that didn't request any permissions, but until we pay for every app and don't expect developers to make us stuff for free, there is going to be a trade off.

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