Even if you are not interested in topics related to information technology, there is a good chance that you have heard about Windows being the most popular operating system for desktop computers.
While the market share Microsoft commands on the desktop is quite impressive, it actually pales in comparison to the global market share of the Android operating system, which as of the year 2020 has hovered around 85%, and it is expected to increase even more over the next few years.
How does operating system market share affect you as an Android user? The problem is in what cyber security researchers call the attack surface, which refers to the wide space hackers can take advantage of when they launch attacks.
For example, Windows is the operating system that hackers target the most in terms of desktop computers; this is because the popularity of the system allows them to cast a wide net. With regard to the smartphone world, hackers know that they have a better chance of striking Android targets, and this is where they choose to focus their efforts.
As you can imagine, hackers are well-aware of the many ways we use our Android smartphones for everything from accessing our online banking accounts to actually making payments by means of digital wallet apps. This is why IT security experts are seeing a rise in Android attacks such as MaliBot, a Trojan hidden inside a popular cryptocurrency mining app, which has been specifically coded to steal online banking credentials.
Based on the above, SynchroNet mobile security specialists recommend the following:
Stick With Android 11 and 12
Security researchers who follow the progress of the Android operating system are pleased with what Google has done for versions 11 and 12. If your smartphone or tablet is running either of these two versions, you are in pretty good shape in terms of general protection.
If you are able to upgrade your devices, you should absolutely do so. Unfortunately, Google no longer provides support for Android versions 7 and earlier, which means that you would be on your own should a new exploit targets your legacy device.
Pay Close Attention to Your Apps
By virtue of being developed on top of a Linux kernel layer, Android is a pretty secure operating system. If you purchase a new Android smartphone and never install any new apps, chances are that you will never have any security issues.
Most Android cyber attacks originate from malicious code embedded within apps; for this reason, it is imperative that you only install apps that have been positively reviewed on Google Play.
Another good idea is to go through the Privacy or Permissions section of your Settings in order to determine what apps you have installed, and how they are accessing your smartphone data. There are security solutions that can automate this process; you can contact SynchroNet to learn more about this option.
Take Advantage of All Security Features
It really pays to get to know your Android smartphone or tablet inside out. At SynchroNet, we have noticed that many of our clients do not take full advantage of Android security features such as fingerprint scanning, Smart Lock, Google Advanced Protection, Google Authenticator, and a few others. We are talking about features that are part of modern Android versions; for the most part, these features only required to be turned on or configured, but they may need an app to be installed in some cases.
Whoever takes advantage of every single Android 12 security feature will have a digital fortress for a smartphone. You will have to get used to how some of these features work, and some of them will feel cumbersome in the beginning, but they are not so difficult to adjust to.