As an open operating system, Android should be protected against malicious software.
As an advocate of the mobile operating system Android, we particularly appreciate the fact that it is an open system: unlike Windows Phone and iOS, it is not only free but also open source – so any developer can change the system at will. Similar freedoms also apply to the “Play Store” – but the consequences are not always positive for us users. The openness also makes Android vulnerable to security vulnerabilities. Extensive protection and lenient handling are therefore urgently recommended.
Late Updates pose Security Risks
Another problem of the operating system is the strong fragmentation of the versions: Although Google publishes updates regularly, most users are only very delayed with the benefits of the updates. The reason is that Android is operated on many different devices and adapted accordingly. A recent example shows just how problematic the late updates are: By chance, security experts from the Berlin-based company Curesec discovered that malware was released without the user’s permission call chargeable premium numbers. The vulnerability exists in the Android versions from 4.1 to 4.4.3 – only from the version number 4.4.4, security can be guaranteed – but this is currently only available for very few devices at all.
Low System load Increases the Battery Life
Because of this issue, we need users to become active and install an antivirus app. We recently compared the major security programs for the Android operating system. It was evaluated according to very different criteria: Of course, the protection is decisive; even more than a PC, however, is also the utilization of the hardware. Because the more the smartphone is required, the greater the energy consumption, which shortens the runtime. Good antivirus protection should not only fend off malicious application attacks but also provide browser protection. Through so-called phishing, ie the rerouting on fake websites, hackers steal personal data of the users and can cause thereby substantial financial damage.
The test winner, the “Mobile Security” from Bitdefender Unfortunately, this is exactly where it fits in: Protection against the dreaded phishing is offered, but only for the standard Android browser. In all other test disciplines, the software was convincing and the costs are quite low. In “Norton Mobile Security” customers have to dig deeper into the bag, but then also get comprehensive anti-virus software, which still holds some interesting features especially for mobile devices. In the event of loss or theft of the smartphone, access via a web interface can be blocked in order to protect personal data and prevent unauthorized use of the smartphone.
Healthy Mistrust in Smartphone Usage
But also equipped with a powerful security app, we should bring users with the use of our smartphones a healthy distrust. Mails of unknown origin should be deleted unread. Above all, no apps should be installed that come from unknown sources: These are mostly camouflaged malware. If we follow these simple rules, we contribute a lot to a secure Android smartphone.