From a mere 6.8 million units sold in 2009, the worldwide Android-based smartphone sales reached a whopping 67 million at the end of 2010. This new “Age of the Android OS” has seen the OS rise in such sweeping popularity, with more than 130,000 apps on an open-source platform corresponding a significant spike in online threats for Android OS users. As seen from Trend Micro’s quarterly threat roundup report, the proliferation of new Android malware was one of the key activities that dominated Q2 2011.
Today, Android continues to be a hotbed for hackers given its open-source nature, with many malwares coming under the guise of a love test app, an e-book reader, or even a location tracker. Within the quarter itself, at least three prominent Android OS attacks were detected, posing as either fake apps or updates to trick users into executing them. A recent malware was shown to use Google+ as a disguise to eavesdrop on users, while another Trojanized app detected was identified to be used for scanning and identifying keywords in SMS messages.
With the increase in the number of threats, it is imperative for consumers to be more cautious. In its new e-book, Trend Micro presents a survival guide of 5 tips on what users of Android-based smartphones can do to protect themselves:
1. Use your Android-based smartphone’s built-in security features – configure its location and privacy settings, use the PIN lock feature or even a fingerprint lock option so that you are the only one who can access the data stored
2. Disable the Wi-Fi auto-connect option – connecting to an open network essentially means opening the door to allow anyone on the same network to access your personal information freely
3. Consider blocking apps from stores other than the Android market – prohibit the installation of apps that do not come from the Android Market
4. Understand the permissions you are allowing before accepting them – be careful when accepting requests for personal and/or device information or for other actions that are not necessary for a certain app to work.
5. Consider investing in an effective mobile security app – Trend Micro’s Mobile Security for AndroidTM protects your digital files and secures your banking transactions conducted on your Android-based smartphone by identifying and stopping the malware before it even reaches your phone
Download the full e-book with the 5 tips here: http://about-threats.trendmicro.com/ebooks/5-simple-steps-to-secure-your-android-based-smartphones/#/1/