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March 10, 2019 | fraud--identity-protection

Common Malware Threats and How to Protect Your Android Device

Your Android phone is a vital part of your life. It’s your daily planner, your navigation system and your mobile shopping partner. You do everything with your phone and that alone makes it the perfect target for criminals to try and get to you.

The attack can begin as simply as a text message from an unknown number asking you to install Adobe Flash Player. But if you do, you are really downloading the thieves’ malware creation, and once you click, your address book, personal information and everything else on your phone becomes vulnerable to cybercriminals.  

Identifying Common Types of Malware

With more than 1 million malware threats introduced every single day, the threats to your phone and your security are constantly changing. However, the list below includes the largest, most commonly seen malware types in today’s market.

  • Adware. This malware appears in the form of pop-ups and aims to redirect users to web pages or applications they had not intended to visit to introduce the malware.
  • Banker malware. As the name implies, banker malware targets the victim’s bank credentials without the victim knowing it.
  • Ransomware. One of the most widely known types of malware, ransomware extorts money from victims to free their files or devices from the lock-down placed on them by the scammer.
  • Rooting malware. By rooting into the device, rooting malware gains increased access and control over the victim's device or system.
  • SMS malware. This malware can intercept text messages or even send new ones all resulting in additional SMS charges, often without the user being aware of the increased activity.
  • Spyware. Spyware lives up to its name by monitoring and recording the victim’s actions on their devices all without their knowledge or permission.

Protecting Yourself and Your Device from Malware

The presence of malware on your Android or any other system could be catastrophic. To protect yourself, follow these tips:

  1. Install an antivirus software on your phone such as AVG, Avast or Trend Micro Mobile.
  2. Never click on links or open emails or attachments that you weren’t expecting to receive.
  3. Only download software updates when advised to do so by your phone carrier.
  4. Apply an encryption app to protect the personal data you have stored on your phone. This includes passwords, financial information, account numbers, etc.
  5. Don’t respond to texts from incomplete phone numbers. Just delete them.
  6. Never call a phone number spawned from an unknown text message.
  7. Use VPN on your mobile device.
  8. Only install software and applications from known sources.

Lastly, trust your gut. If something seems off to you, you’re probably right. Take your time and do a little more homework before opening that link or downloading that update. Your extra research will benefit you and your phone every single time.

Learn more about how you can protect yourself against fraud.