Dave Marcus has more than twelve years of technical experience in information security, and network and host ...
In light of recent reports of malware surfacing on the Android Market, McAfee has compiled tips and education on the reality of mobile malware threats. A third quarter 2011 security report revealed that malware targeted toward Android smartphones continues to be on the rise, with the Android OS solidifying its lead as the primary target for new mobile malware in 2011. The amount of malware targeted at Android devices jumped nearly 37 percent from the second quarter, putting 2011 on track to be the busiest in mobile and general malware history. Nearly all new mobile malware in Q3 was targeted at Android, following a 76 percent rise in Android malware in Q2 of 2011.
That being said, the Android.Tonclank and affected Android apps may have intrusive advertising but ultimately any true maliciousness posed by the apps is questionable, according to McAfee Labs. Though certainly any data lost or extruded without user permission is never good.
To help smartphone users reduce risks of mobile malware, McAfee has compiled five tips:
.For the moment, the amount of detected smartphone malware is relatively low compared to malware that targets desktop or laptop PCs; but being aware that it exists is the first step toward protecting yourself and your data.
.Research apps and their publishers thoroughly and check the ratings – better to install apps that are broadly used in the market or are recommended by your circle of friends and colleagues.
.It is wise to purchase from a well-known reputable app store market, such as the Android Market. One way for Android users to avoid installation of non-market applications is to de-select the “Unknown sources” option in the Applications Settings menu on their device. If the option is not listed, it means your mobile service provider has already done this for the user.
.When you install an app, you’ll see a list of permissions for services that are granted access to the hardware and software components on your device, like contacts, camera and location. If something in the permissions screen doesn’t look right, don’t install that app! For example, a game or alarm clock app probably shouldn’t need to access your contacts or have the ability to transmit that data from your device.
.Install antivirus software on your phone. It is a good idea to install an antivirus program when you get a new mobile device before you add any other apps.