Virus: How to protect your Android device?

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 Virus: How to protect your Android device?

Never before has the news around malware on Android been so busy. Not a week goes by without a new story of contamination. While these problems were confined outside the Play Store, the Google application store is now also victim of viruses of all kinds ...

 Virus How to protect your Android device
 Virus How to protect your Android device

Between the viruses that spy on your text messages, those that display advertisements to make your smartphone inoperative, those that can steal the content of your bank account or those that come back to life despite a complete reset, Android is not not really spoiled right now. There are, however, tips to avoid being tricked, but also tools to anticipate the damage, just in case. Let's see what we can advise our most careful readers…

Types of malware on Android

  • Adware: They display ads on your mobile. Lots of pubs. So many ads that your device can start to falter in front of the workload. The goal for brigands? Make easy money. If an ad earns them 1 cent, multiply that by 500 ads per day on 10,000 devices. Loot: € 50,000 per day.

  • Phishing: You install a harmless app. Nothing to report. After a while, however, your device will display forms with headers from your bank or PayPal asking for your credentials for a routine operation. This is phishing: by entering your credentials, you give the keys to your wallet to hackers. We let you imagine the rest.

  • Spyware: These are harmless apps that grant themselves the maximum of permissions (contact, SMS, phone, microphone, etc.) to collect the most information about you and your habits. Some malware even takes screenshots of your activities to better trap you. The goal ? Resell this info to the highest bidder.

  • Dialers: More complicated to set up (but not impossible), these are fake apps that will be granted “Phone” permission to dial premium-rate numbers behind your back. When you receive an invoice of € 8,693 because you called numbers in Mauritania, Nigeria or Macao, it is already too late…

4 good reflexes to avoid viruses

  • 1 Do not download from unknown sources..

This first step will protect you from 80% of the malware that rages. Never download an app outside of the Google Play Store. Since Android 8, the system warns you each time you try to install APK files (the Android equivalent of EXE files on Windows). Smart guys know how to bait you on the Net: paid application, but miraculously free by using this magic link, game version “preview”, etc. Unless you are 100% sure of your source, you should never install an application from an unknown source. But this is unfortunately not enough, because the Google Play Store is often the victim of intrusion ...

  • 2  On the Google Play Store: common sense above all!

Do you think you are quiet on the Play Store? Think again ! Google controls apps, but new attack schemes help bypass these checks. Malware can stay "asleep" when it is integrated into an application. The solution ? Common sense ! You do not risk anything with storefront applications like WhatsApp, Skype or those you will find in our dedicated section. Avoid certain apps like the ones we scientifically call “the stupid apps”: “prout box”, game clone (wooden Tetris, fake Candy Crush, etc.), calendar, weather, app supposed to save you money. battery, VPN unknown to battalion, etc. Be careful, there are many legitimate applications: just don't get carried away with downloading 50 apps at once: be selective. A quick turn in the comments can be saving: if an app has 2 stars out of 5 with strange reviews (device that wakes up alone or incessant advertisements,), it is better to be careful! Finally, once installed, be aware that if a “flashlight” or “compass” application asks you for access to your contacts, your SMS or your Internet connection: it's shady! Android permissions are derived from Linux permissions and you will just have to say "no" when you are asked.

  • 3  Protect yourself with an antivirus!

If you are a demanding user ready to test everything or make up your own mind, there is also a solution: install an antivirus. But in these many applications, which one to choose? There are a lot of quality, but one that is trusted by many experts is called Malwarebytes. If you have Avast on your Windows, know that Malwarebytes is the equivalent on Android: simple, powerful and free. Just install it from the Store, allow it access to files and that's it. If you feel like it, it is possible to try the Premium version for one month (€ 1 / month for one year after this period), but it is not at all mandatory. Update the virus database and go for a deep scan of your files and apps. Nothing escapes him, even the most trivial intrusions!

  • 4  Do not root or unlock the bootloader without reason

Root your smartphone is a natural reflex for hackers who want to have full power over their device. Beware of miracle recipes to achieve this. The creators of malware understood that they could better get into the system using fake tools. Skim forums and specialized sites but refuse shady apps that allow you to root a phone "in two minutes": it simply does not exist. Likewise, don't leave your bootloader unlocked. It is much easier for a hacker to take possession of your device in this case