In the age of smartphones, wearables, smart gadgets and omniscient internet connectivity, cyber security is a necessity for every individual availing these services. With the prices of smart devices as well as increasing internet penetration in India, the users of active as well as passive internet services have quadrupled in the past 5 years. In this article, we’ll take a look at the basic security practices for securing your android devices against possible cyber-attacks.
The Shield and the Harpoon !!
The first thing you need to know about smartphones and tabs is that they too are like your computer systems. They too need antiviruses as their first line of defense. So install a good antivirus app to act as a SHIELD against malicious programs. Various free antivirus applications are available on PlayStore. You may choose any one of them. Similarly, you need a harpoon to grapple-in your device from a theif. There are a host of good anti-theft apps to recover your device in case of thefts. Some antivirus apps have inbuilt anti-theft functionalities. Apart from these, you might wanna keep a decent app-locker to protect sensitive apps and functions from direct access. That being said, most free-wares available on the app stores are supported by ads that may take you to malicious links. Hence it is in your best interests to avoid them. Whenever you download an application, make sure it is from the official developer forum and not third parties. Apps from untrusted sources may contain Trojans and worms.
Own your device !!
Second thing to note about apps is that whenever an application is installed on your device, it asks for permissions to access various resources on your device: Read/Write permission of your storage media, access to camera, GPS, Gallery, Contacts etc. Pay special attention to these permissions. Ask yourself, does this app really need the permissions it is demanding? Many a times, apps collect information about your app usage to make improvements in their user experience. While this may seem like a legitimate excuse, it is a clear violation of your privacy. At other times, they are simply siphoning your private data without your explicit information.
Now you may wonder, “I want to use this application so bad, but it won’t install if I deny it the necessary permissions !!” For this scenario, there are apps known as “Permission Managers”. Most of them are freely available.
Guard your own secrets
Next thing you need to worry about is the content you store on your devices. Smart devices are the best substitute for Cameras, MP3 players, libraries, personal diary and bank accounts. Thus we generally end up storing highly confidential and sensitive data about our personal life in them. This makes us vulnerable to a lot of threats like loss of privacy, blackmailing, pornography, loss of money, business loss, cyber-stalking etc. It is a good habit to routinely scan for your private and confidential data, especially the folders of your chat-apps like WhatsApp, Hike, Line etc, and move them to an encrypted external storage device or laptops. You may encrypt the entire device, if the device supports complete encryption. If you intend to resell your device, it is a suggestion that you perform a factory reset and wipe all storage media with a shredder or an eraser.
Old is not always Gold
Contrary to the common belief, one needs to stay updated in this world. Update all your apps, your firmware and login credentials regularly. App developers regularly work on releasing bug-fixes, security patches and improving user experiences. So do invest in a few bucks every month and update your apps
So there you have it. Follow these steps, and you should not have any trouble online. In case you have any doubts, queries or suggestions or you wish to suggest a topic for our next blog, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org