From 2015 to 2018 there were approximately over 230,000 new malware programs detected daily. Malware is more or less an umbrella term for phishing attempts, spyware, viruses, Trojan, and a plethora of other types of harmful software that wreak havoc on an Android phone. Malware is ultimately designed to hack into an Android and steal a user’s identity, private information, or financial information.
Below, we look at some top Android security risks for 2019 so far and the best way to protect an Android phone from these security threats. We’ll also explore the best VPN for Android and why VPNs are the best option for phone protection.
Every new version of Android phone offers more storage, faster performance, and more features, making it a haven for new apps. While new apps offer great features and improved functionality, they also cause data leaks galore. In most cases, data leaks arise when mobile users, unaware of the security implications, give apps umbrella permissions. While most paid apps come with built-in security, free apps from app stores are usually the culprits, leaving phones and their users vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Unsecured Wi-Fi Connections
Android phone users go through great lengths to secure their personal Wi-Fi connections at home, but don’t think twice about connecting to an unsecured public Wi-Fi while visiting restaurants, stores, or other businesses. Wireless hotspots can turn into a feeding frenzy for hackers who wait for perfect moments to hack into both the unsecured Wi-Fi and the even more unsecured phone.
Cyber attacks have successfully infiltrated some of the most used apps such as PayPal, Facebook, VoIP apps, and email apps. Some of these apps make accessible gateways to banking or credit card information. Therefore, users must provide multi-layered security software to protect their devices.
Fake Access Networks
A common tactic that hackers use to lure phone users is known as network spoofing. They set up fake access points in high-traffic public Wi-Fis. Facilities such as coffee shops, malls, libraries, theaters, restaurants, and other businesses can become prime targets for fake Wi-Fi connections. Since users may not know the difference between a fake access point and the real access point, they will often defer to a phony access point if there is no user ID or password required to get access.
Hackers will use standard Wi-Fi names such as “Free Customer Wi-Fi” or “Coffeehouse” to lure users. They will even create fake accounts so that users will use the same username/password combination that they use on their other accounts. Users should practice caution before creating an account to any of these fake access points.
Phishing attacks have been around for nearly two decades. They are one of the most common methods for cyber attacks because users can easily be fooled. Phishing usually occurs through email or messaging services. Users respond to a fake email and provide information freely to hackers. Hackers can then, in turn, use that information to access accounts on a user’s phone.
The best way to prevent phishing from happening on a phone is to ignore and delete or report suspicious emails. Users should never respond to a foreign email or provide information if they cannot verify the source of the message.
Spyware is everywhere, and it is rampant. Literally millions of different types of spyware run through the Internet worldwide daily. In most cases, guest users such as spouses, coworkers, or friends inadvertently install spyware on a user’s phone for different reasons. Spyware can track a user’s activity, record patterns, and even decrypt usernames and passwords
While antivirus and malware detection apps do a pretty good job of finding and deleting spyware, they are not 100% secure. Hackers have learned how to bypass these apps to get at the heart of an Android phone. Users need to add more secure apps and VPNs to provide comprehensive protection for the phone to eliminate the possibility of spyware accessing the phone’s internal data.
Broken Cryptography can occur when an app developer uses weak encryption algorithms or utilize strong encryption without correct integration into a device. In most cases, developers already know which algorithms are vulnerable to cyber attacks. However, they use them anyway for the sake of their own products. As a result, an unauthorized user can break into the phone by using the weak algorithms.
Use a VPN to Avoid Security Risks on Android Phones
Although malware and antivirus apps can reduce security risks, they do not necessarily provide multi-layered protection to keep an Android phone safe. They offer limited capabilities for browsing, streaming, download, or end-to-end protection. The most powerful antivirus protection products on the market may offer better protection, but they can also slow a system down and hinder a phone’s performance.
The best solution for protecting an Android phone from cyber attacks is a virtual private network (VPN). VPN services like Surfshark provide multi-layered protection while preserving a user’s identity and making their online activity untraceable.
A VPN can mask a user’s IP address and create a tunnel that allows data to travel to or from a phone undetected. This multi-layered approach protects a user from Internet service providers (ISP), government agencies, hackers, spammers, and companies that try to access data for marketing purposes. The users can travel anywhere in the world on the VPNs network server and benefit from 100% protection from any hacker or any device anywhere in the world.
There are also additional benefits to a virtual private network such as:
- Multiple servers in prime locations across the globe (Surfshark has over 800 in 50+ countries)
- Secure access to content on any open or blocked website
- Secure access to streaming services that are otherwise blocked
- No logs or recorded activity whatsoever
- A kill switch that destroys a connection if the VPN senses that the connection is unsafe
- Security on multiple Android phones under the same account
- Private DNS & leak protection regardless of the other apps on the phone
With all the security threats that can affect Android phones such as viruses, malware, spyware, and unsecured Wi-Fi connections, users owe it to themselves to get the protection available on the market today. Only a VPN can provide the highest level of online security for phones. This is security that users can count on no matter where they are or what they are doing on their phones. That is a peace of mind that users need when using their Androids.