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Is Your Android Device Protected?

Is your Android phone or tablet protected? No, I’m not talking about putting your phone in the fine bedazzled case pictured to the left (available from Amazon for $4). This post is about protecting your Android device from malware and spyware.

The unfortunate truth is that if you’re connecting your phone, tablet, or computer to the Internet, you’re opening yourself up to the possibility that your device could become infected with malware or spyware. If you’ve never worried about malware or spyware on your phone consider this, the cost of a new phone without a new carrier contract rivals the cost of a new tablet or low-end laptop. Protecting your phone is protecting your wallet. You should also consider that if your Android device is linked to the Google Account that you use for important documents in Google Docs, professional email, or a Google Wallet account, you definitely need to protect your Android device from malware and spyware. There are a few things that you can do to protect your Android device when you connect to the Internet.

One app-free way to protect your Android device is to approach links you view on your phone or tablet with the same discretion that you would use if viewing those links on your computer. If you think something is fishy (or phishy) about a link and you wouldn’t click it on your computer, don’t click it on your phone or tablet.

Another app-free way to protect your Android device is do a little research before installing a new app. If you’re looking at an app from a publisher that you haven’t seen before and or hasn’t received press from authoritative tech blogs like Android Central or TechCrunch, do your homework before installing. Check out the feedback on the app you’re considering installing. Investigate other apps offered by the publisher. If a publisher produced a math lessons app and also a “dating” app, I’d be suspicious and move-on to search for another math lessons app. I also check the date of the latest update to an app that I’m considering installing. While it’s not inherently bad if an app hasn’t been updated in a year, it does make me pause.

Finally, there is a slew of apps in the Android Market that offer anti-virus protection. A quick search in the Android Market will reveal many free and paid anti-virus apps. I’m currently using two anti-virus apps on my devices. Antivirus from AVG Mobilation is available in a free and paid version. Both versions scan the apps and files on your device in real-time. The paid version ($0.99) not only alerts you if something bad is on your device, it automatically wipes it for you. Norton Security and Antivirus is the other app I’m using on my Android devices. Norton Security and Antivirus performs scans on daily, weekly, or monthly schedule of your choosing. The paid version of the Norton app ($30.00/year) offers anti-theft protection and web protection when you’re browsing the web on your tablet or phone.

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  • Ken Lewis

    Great tips! Thank you for suggesting some ways to protect my phone!

  • j3pr0x

    I use Lookout. Not only does it protect your device against malware, it also has data backup AND device tracking features. I am not employed nor affiliated with them, I just love this free app although a paid, premium version with more features also available.

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