Mobile Security Exploits
In the early days of mobile operating systems such as Android, there weren’t many security threats. This makes sense. The new mobile operating systems were built with a better awareness of security issues, and because they have fewer features, there’s less to exploit. In addition, they had relatively small install bases and were unfamiliar to hackers, who need time to explore new software.
All of this is slowly changing. Android and iOS both continue to grow quickly, and malware is starting to catch up. According to a report by Juniper Networks, malware targeting Android has ramped up dramatically in the latter half of 2011. Though it’s impossible to see the future, there’s no reason to suspect 2012 will see a reversal of this trend.
So what can you do? One step is to buy a security app. Yes, I said buy. There’s lots of free options, and as such many people are allergic to spending money on any app, but here’s the thing – those free apps are largely untested, and when AV-Test did put some of them up against real malware, the free options generally failed.
My recommendation for now is Kaspersky Mobile Security. It’s $9.99, and when tested by both AV-Test and AV-Comparatives, it was recommended.
Another step is to be careful about the apps you download. Google does not scrutinize the apps that it allows on the Android Market for malware. Sure, it removes them if a problem is detected, but by then the damage may already be done. Try to download only apps from well-known developers or apps that have been on the market for several months.