How to protect your Android phone from malware attack?

Android, News

Android technology came into the market in the year 2007. Since then, they became popular in the market for providing free and open source code. Their source code is available free of cost to the developers of Smartphone and they can use at their own discretion without having to worry about paying any licensing fees. This particular feature has made Android technology a favourite one to the developers of Smartphone across various countries. The popularity of Smartphone has changed the life of many and it has also got huge impact on many industries. People who used to do betting and play games earlier used to go to the physical casinos across the street. With the advent of Smartphone the popularity of online casino increased a lot as many users started doing betting through the Smartphone.

Availability of free code has made the Android based Smartphone much cheaper than other Smartphone who use other operating systems which have high license fees. Since the mobile developers need to pay high license fee for those operating systems, those Smartphone are costly than the Android based ones. All these have made Android based Smartphone much popular in the market and affordable, too.  The availability of free code has made the Android based Smartphone much cheaper and affordable to the common people and this is the main reason for this Smartphone revolution in the world during the past few years. It has been found that Android based Smartphone are $400 cheaper than the Smartphone which operate on other operating systems. Hence it became more affordable to the common masses.

Many people are not aware of the fact that Android operating system is not only used in the Smartphone, but also in many other places like cars to television to watches. All these factors have made Android the most used operating system in the world having around 85% share of the global market. It means three quarter of the world population who use some form of technology device use Android technology.

Everything was going fine till a few months back when a malware for Android based Smartphone was detected in the market. It was found that the spyware was delivered via a WhatsApp call to the Smartphone. It was found that the apps which were most trusted were already vulnerable to the attack from the malware and the alert was sent to dozens of Google Play store apps. The users became a bit scared because only a few weeks before this, Android users got another alert about tracing of personal data of the user by data munching bags. It was just a few days the users got settled down with that terror when the news for this malware came into the market.

This malware has got nothing to do with the pre-installed apps at the Google play store, but it is about the malware that is already installed in the Android devices. The feature of the malware is that it can auto installs the apps and the phone will become not usable when the user will try to uninstall it.

What is this pre-installed debacle all about?

Since the codes of Android are free and open, mobile developers and manufacturers can create a customized version of the operating device on their manufactured phones. Taking the advantage of this situation, they are installing their own set of apps and pre-installing them in their Smartphone. It has been observed that most of these apps are outside the radar of the ecosystem which is managed by Google. In such cases, the users have no other option but to rely on the Smartphone manufacturer and stay within the permissions granted. They are expecting that any given data must be treated with high level of privacy.

In reality, it is very unfortunate to say that most of the manufacturers have been found to be unreliable and many users have been exploited using their private data many times. To control the situation, a letter was drafted by Privacy International and a large number of NGOs asking Google to initiate steps against the apps which go for exploitation of data. Though the users and experts are saying that it is extremely difficult to pickup malware from the reputed Android makers using the default settings, but the threat due to the preinstalled malware on the lesser known devices made by unethical manufacturers still remains a matter of concern. 

For example, the device which is supposed to have installed a malware is Unimax (UMX) U686CL. This mobile was given by Virgin’s Mobile Assurance program. It was a part of Lifeline Assistance Program of the Government of United States of America. The program is aimed at giving away mobile to the families having low income and each device was priced at $35.

If the user finds that the Smartphone is working slower than the computer he used in 1997, then his Smartphone has been infected with a malware. 

By doing the following steps, the user can try removing the malware from his Smartphone.

1st Step

Shut down your phone and restart. It can protect other Smartphone connected to the device and you can do research in the meantime about the infected app.

2nd Step

After switching on the Smartphone, go to the emergency and safe mode. With this mode on, the amount of damage which the app can do to the Smartphone can be minimized. 

3rd step

Go to the section of Android Settings app and try to locate the app which is creating problem in the Smartphone. If you do not get the app, use the App Manager option to get the complete list of apps. This will show you three options – Force Stop and then Force Close and finally uninstall.

4th Step

In addition to the problematic app, you can uninstall anything which you may found doubtful. You may find some Core Programs which you cannot uninstall. You can ‘disable’ them.

5th Step

Download a anti-malware software and always ensure to use the latest version of the OS as it protects the device from such attacks.