Anyone with an Android smartphone or tablet needs to be on the alert for three major threats to their device. With more than 2.5 billion users worldwide, it’s no surprise that cyber criminals are turning their attention to Google’s popular mobile operating system. Attacks continue to occur at an alarming rate, with hackers relying on a number of tricks to infiltrate devices and steal money or data from unsuspecting users.
These attacks are becoming more and more problematic for Android fans. To help users avoid these issues, the AVAST security team has revealed the top three threats to devices as well as some helpful advice on how to stop them.
According to AVAST, the main problem facing Android users comes from adware, which has made up around 45 percent of threats this year. While adware doesn’t steal any data, it can fill devices with very intrusive advertisements that can render phones almost unusable.
These irritating messages keep popping up on the display, with some even appearing on the screen when owners aren’t using apps.
Avast has seen two main types of adware: the “traditional” type, which is gaming, photo, and other lifestyle applications.
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Finally, there are terrifying banking Trojans, or “bankers”. These often disguise themselves as real apps to access the bank details of unsuspecting users and trick them into revealing their bank account details by impersonating a legitimate banking application and mimicking the login screen or providing a generic login screen with the logo of the respective bank.
“Nowadays, especially since the outbreak of the pandemic, our smartphones and devices are our daily companions and it can be a real nuisance or even a serious security risk when a phone and the data stored on it are exposed to mobile malware,” said Ondrej David. Avast Mobile Threat Analyst. “Mobile malware, and especially adware, often comes in the form of a seemingly innocuous game or entertainment app, but what users don’t know is that their device is doing malicious activity in the background.”
Here are some top AVAST tips on how to prevent mobile malware –
• Only download apps from official app stores like Google Play as they have safeguards in place to check apps before developers upload them, or directly from the app’s official website for additional insurance.
• Check the app ratings as adware apps have many 5-star and 1-star ratings. The reviews often cite poor functionality and / or excessive advertising, or are overly enthusiastic and positive.
• Carefully review the permissions an app is requesting before downloading an app; When an app requests access to data it doesn’t need, it’s a red flag.
• Use a strong antivirus solution on your phone to detect and stop any attempted attacks.