More and more people are relying on Android devices for remote work, which is why cybercriminals are taking advantage and creating counterfeit Android apps to try and misguide users. These apps typically collect users’ sensitive data or infect devices with malware, which can lead to fraud and financial crimes. The problem is, even a tech-savvy user may struggle to identify these bad apps.
How can you protect yourself and make sure that your Android device is running only safe applications?
Enable Google Play Protect
Google Play Protect proactively checks every app before you download them and rechecks your device regularly to ensure it’s free of dangerous software. The service helps keep your device safe and secure by:
- Running a safety check on apps from the Google Play Store prior to installation
- Checking your device for potentially harmful apps downloaded from other sources
- Removing known harmful apps and warning you about any potentially harmful ones that are detected
- Notifying you about detected apps that violate Google’s Unwanted Software Policy
- Sending you privacy alerts about apps that can get access to your personal information, violating Google’s Developer Policy
If it finds a potentially harmful app, it will do one of these three things:
- Send you a notification that will prompt you to remove the app
- Disable the app until you uninstall it
- Remove the app automatically
Google Play Protect is enabled by default, but you can turn it on or off by following these steps:
- Open the Google Play Store app.
- Go to Menu > Play Protect > Settings.
- Toggle on Scan apps with Play Protect.
Download from a trusted source
Use third-party antivirus software
Because the market for tablets is growing, more and more companies are offering mobile antivirus solutions. Although there are free antivirus software that are legitimate and effective, the better option is to purchase security solutions from well-established companies to get maximum protection.
Third-party antivirus software may come with monthly or yearly subscriptions, as well as different premium rates for different types of security measures, but their benefits far outweigh the cost of purchase.
There are many effective steps you can take to make sure your tablet or smartphone is safe against fake apps:
- Before downloading from a trusted source, read the fine print as well as user reviews, and look out for evident security risks.
- Uninstall unused apps. This will not only help you avoid any unnecessary risks with potentially vulnerable apps, but also make more room on your device.
- Update your software. Patches from software updates can fix bugs of vulnerabilities, which, in turn, can thwart cyberattacks. To avoid software update inconveniences, enable automatic updates on your Android tablet or smartphone.
If you are looking to learn more about protecting your Android device, we can help. Contact us today.