Android phones are very much in vogue in the mobile phone market and why not? The features available on them with the thousands of Android apps that can be installed, convert the mobile phones into all-purpose devices with which users can accomplish a score of things. However, there is a serious catch attached to this – the possibility of private information being stolen by unknown hands. Android data theft has been increasing and number of cases are being reported by users.
How one can steal the information from your Android phone?
This can happen in two ways – one is of course the phone getting physically stolen; the other is worse – when seemingly normal applications secretly run background processes to pull out the mobile phone’s data without the knowledge of the user.
Applications which can steal info from Android phones creating Android data theft problems :-
There are numerous applications for a variety of purposes which can be downloaded from application stores such as the Google app store for Android phones. Though many of these applications are straight forward and do just what they are meant to do, a few of them have been developed with the malicious intent of hacking into private information about the mobile phone and the data that has been stored on it which give rise to menace i.e. Android data theft.
What sort of information can get stolen from Android phones through malicious content?
Private web albums containing pictures and videos, contact details and calendar information are types of Android data theft, that can be controlled through hacking apps. The mobile data can be viewed as well as changed or deleted remotely without the user’s knowledge. This could lead to secure and private information getting into the wrong hands or could lead to embarrassing situations. The phone ID, model number etc. can also be acquired by stealth and could be employed against the user.
Reasons for Android mobiles being more at risk :-
Android is an open source; therefore mobile applications can be built by anyone and everyone for Android mobiles. Without a keen review process (unlike Apple), the possibility of apps that can impair mobile phones by pinching information is increased for Android mobiles. Another issue is when the client login authentication is triggered on open Wi-Fi networks, the risk of the returned authentication token being stolen by hackers is high.
Now Google has identified several such apps and has removed them from the app store. In fact, it has come out with an effective “Bouncer” that screens apps in its stores and chucks out those with spyware, Trojans and similar malware.
Ways to protect information on Android mobiles from Android data theft :-
The responsibility to safeguard their information lies predominantly with the mobile phone users because with hundreds of apps and versions coming in constantly into the application stores, it is next to impossible for any single control to work wonders.
The best solution would be for users to show discernment when choosing an application they want to avoid Android data theft. Indiscriminately downloading all that is available, especially the free apps, might lead to the mobile phone becoming insecure and the data getting lost or corrupted. Choosing the correct settings including those for open Wi-Fi systems, carefully granting permissions sought by apps, password protecting info and installing anti-virus products which increase your android phone’s mobile security are some ways to safeguard Android mobile data and to protect yourself against Android data theft menace.
As considered all android users have password-protected their phone and are using auto-lock but that don’t cure your problem of Android data theft, you also need to take some serious steps for protecting it against malicious software and trackers. Using only ant-spyware or antivirus apps will not solve your problem, you need some more specific mobile security apps and tools. Let’s have a look at them.
Best Android mobile security apps to protect Android data theft :- “Trusted Apps”
- Lookout Mobile Security :- One of the most trusted apps among all mobile security apps, it comes in both free and premium version having different features in each category. With free version you can scan for anti-viruses, Trojans, spyware and block malware. You can scan every app and file downloaded. In addition to that you can also locate your stolen mobile and can restore your lost contacts too.
Being a premium user of this app you’ll get protection against phishing, data theft, secure web browsing and more a secure privacy protection. You can restore your photo’s as well as recent call list on the phone.
- Privacy Inspector :- The app comes with idea “Find out exactly what your apps are doing“. Yes and it does the same as it says. Being a lite version of app “Privacy Blocker” it lets you know about the handling data ability of each app. How much your phone’s data every app is accessing without your knowledge, it tells you.
- Webroot :- Like Lookout Mobile Security App, it also comes with free and premium version. Webroot Mobile Security Basic being a free version protects your android device against anti-viruses and other malicious software. You remain free from unwanted calls and text messages can remotely lock your phone.
“Webroot SecureAnywhere Mobile Premier” is a paid version of this app which allows you a greater control over your device. You can check privacy control of different apps on your phone like which can access your messages, contact lists, APN settings etc. It automatically locks your device if SIM card is removed intentionally or unintentionally. You will notice that it’s a very light app, doesn’t slow down your device and has a very less battery usage. With this app you can also monitor battery usage capacity of various apps.
- Loky :- Got some private and personal data stored on your phone, scared of getting it stolen by various apps or by some other user. Loky hides all your data safely and protects you from intentional Android data theft. You are given a PIN to log in the app and then you can safely hide your data inside.
As this app creates a safe password zone for your data, you can hide anything from text messages, contact lists, photos etc. They will not appear to anyone who scans your phone until you are logged in. It’s a very secure and trusted app when it comes to hide private data. Go for it blindly.
- Seal App Locker :- As we are looking for protecting our data against Android data theft, this app allows you to password protect any individual app or folder on your phone which can be grouped together and can again be password protected. It’s somewhat like a parental lock system in televisions but it is more complicated and beneficial.
This app provides you a Seal interface from where you can manage all your protected files. It’s a paid app which is worth of it’s cost.
Trusted Android Mobile Security Anti-viruses software :-
Users are also advised to see some other popular mobile security software which can protect you against malicious tracking apps. The list follows as avast! Mobile Security, AVG Antivirus, NQ Mobile Security, TrustGo Antivirus & Mobile Security, McAfee Mobile Security , Norton Mobile Security , Kaspersky Mobile Security, Trend Micro Mobile Security Personal Edition, Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus, ESET Mobile Security, Sophos Mobile Security, GadgetTrak Mobile Security.
Android apps protecting against Android data theft :-
All above named apps will protect you against all unwanted apps and trackers. To protect you data against Android data theft we advise you to password lock all you important and private data using the following listed apps like LastPass Password Manager, SplashID Safe for Android, 1Password Reader for Android , mSecure Password Manager for Android, App Protector Pro.
How to be sure about using a genuine app ?
Vulnerability in android against data stealing is more being a open source system. So we advise and ask all android users to be more careful while using any app. Make sure you download from a trusted source. Better go for a paid version of the app from developer’s website instead of downloading free version from any third party site. Android app codes can easily be modified and replaced with malicious trackers, so better be sure on your source of downloading.
Recently we saw Symantec (Company behind “Norton”) listing 29 malicious apps on android market which were stealing data from Japanese users, more than 70K peoples were affected due to Android data theft. You can never be fully sure regarding Android data theft, as loop holes are everywhere especially in the codes written to made such android apps. Being a mobile phone user you must take all essential steps to protect your android device against heinous act of Android data theft.