Every day, more and more malware targets Android users. And that means today’s Android devices need to stay constantly up-to-date in order to defend against the latest threats. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like device manufacturers – or carriers – are willing to provide the constant security patches that Android users need.
So just how many Android users are affected by this unwillingness to release security patches? According to a report by Information Week, this issue affects approximately 50% of all Android devices currently on the market. In other words, 50% of Android users are under-protected when it comes to defending their phones from malware and viruses.
In addition, that article claims the 50% figure is “fairly conservative” and that a much higher percentage of devices could actually benefit from security patches. Indeed, some security patches are absolutely critical, and Android users could be exposed to malware, viruses, and other threats if they don’t stay patched and up-to-date.
Why are Android users so susceptible to security problems?
The main reason why Android is under attack doesn’t have a lot to do with the operating system itself. Instead, more and more Android viruses are being created simply because there are more Android devices than ever before. And, since few people think about security on their mobile phones, hackers find mobile users to be much easier targets than PC users.
Furthermore, Android users have access to alternative marketplaces which often have more relaxed security when it comes to accepting or declining new apps. In other words, a virus could disguise itself as a legitimate app, only to infect the user’s device and steal personal information after it’s installed.
How to protect your Android phone from malware
There are several different Android antivirus apps available to download. However, instead of just searching for “Android antivirus” and downloading the first app you see, make sure the program you’re downloading is legitimate and has been reviewed by thousands of other users. Otherwise, you might be walking into a cleverly laid trap.
Here are a few of the most popular free Android antivirus security apps available today:
-Avast! Mobile Security
-AVG Antivirus Free
-NQ Mobile Security
All of these programs do essentially the same job. They block viruses, monitor apps for suspicious activity, and protect your data with privacy filters. Many security apps also include a location finder that helps users track down a stolen phone.
There are other Android antivirus apps available from companies like Norton and Kaspersky, although they cost almost as much as their desktop antivirus counterparts. Most Android antivirus software starts at around $19.95 per year, which is a price that many users are unwilling to pay on top of their phone bill.
Ultimately, be smart when using our Android phone. Always check the URL bar before you enter information, and try to avoid using public Wi-Fi networks without an ‘https’ connection. By being smart and downloading one of the free antivirus apps we’ve listed above, you can protect your phone – and your personal data – from being hacked.