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This is a little guide on tips and advice on how to avoid and prevent the installation of malware, adware and any other kind of virus on your android phone or computer. To be absolutely safe, you shouldn’t download anything that doesn’t come directly from your OEM to your phone and even that is no guarantee that extra “unwanted” stuff won’t end up on your device. Actually a malware is software that is specifically designed to gain access or damage your phone or computer without the knowledge of the owner.
Check out the following 8 Tips below to help you safeguard your phone/pc against malware and other virus:
1. Always pay attention to the name and the extension of what you downloaded.
Check the name and the extension of what you downloaded, if they are wrong, then it is probably something you don’t want to install. An increasing number of file hosts are trying to “trick” users into downloading windows or Mac Installers that typically deliver adware to your computer or phone. If it ends in .exe or .dmg but you are expecting .apk or .zip then you should probably stay away. Just make sure what you end up downloading is what you really want.
A file host or download site Asking you to install a download accelerator, download manager, or pretty much any kind of update to get your download to work are common ploys and tricks to get you to download and install something you really don’t want.
2. Stay Away From Crack File And Warez Sites
The more crack apps and software on a website the more you should be more careful and worried about what you are downloading from the site.
Google and Amazon app stores are always the most trusted place to download apps, they really care about their reputations, so they typically go to some extra efforts to remove malware as soon as they find it. Same goes for the xda forum.
3. Always Run A Malware Check On Your Downloads Before Installing Them.
Many of the smartphone and pc users don’t even know there is an online antivirus and malware checker, that you can use to scan your downloaded files to know if a file is safe before installing them.
Run a malware check on your downloads before installing them. Some of the best online malware checker I have used are:
Virustotal uses a number of anti-malware engines to scan your file for known malware and virus. If the online scanner return a positive match, it is likely you have downloaded malware. Some scanners and antivirus also Flag Rooting Apps as malware or virus and those can be considered as false positives. Please be aware that just because an app is rated as clean, doesn’t mean that it really isn’t malware. Maybe it hasn’t been identified as malware yet or maybe the sandbox didn’t detect the malware parts of the app.
Check out the pictures below to understand what I mean:
THIS IS HOW A GOOD FILE ANALYSIS SHOULD LOOK LIKE:
THIS IS HOW A BAD OR INFECTED FILE ANALYSIS SHOULD LOOK LIKE:
Sanddroid on the other hand is just for checking apps and will run them in a sandbox and then tell you about the behavior of your app.
4. Always Avoid File With Double Extension And Always Check Your Application Size.
For example never install a file with .apk.exe, .img.exe or a .exe.exe extensions on your phone or pc. You should always verify the size of your download before executing/installing them. If the size of the download does not correspond with the size of the file e.g when you are downloading a file of 5mb and the size turns out to be 247Kb after you download it. The file might be a malware or a virus.
5. Always Use A Good Adblocker
A good adblocker to use if your phone is rooted is Adaway. If you’re not rooted you can use adblock plus (either the app, or the free Firefox add-on).
One disadvantage using the adblock plus app is that it uses quite much ram (about 100mb). Adaway modifies the hosts file, so it doesn’t use any resources.You can also download and install the latest UCWEB Browser from playstore, it has adblock enabled by default. You can download adblock plus for firefox mobile and Pc: HERE
6. You Should Always Backup Your Android Phone
I have rooted every android device I’ve owned and never run into any issues. By rooting you can install custom recoveries (such as TWRP or CWM), allowing you to make backups of your phone which can then be easily restored should anything go wrong.
I have used Xposed on nearly all of my devices too as the aim of Xposed is to increase functionality of your device along with being able to remove manufacturer restrictions (such as volume level warnings etc), perform tweaks and install add-ons.
As long as your fairly careful and only use files and modules designed for your phone you should have no problems at all. Just remember to backup your device prior to modding or tweaking! So you can always restore your device should anything go wrong.
7. Always Scan your device
Many people don’t know there is something they use to scan existing malware that has already been installed on their phone. There are a lot of apps that you can use to scan your device. Just search in the play store for Antimalware or antivirus apps. I am currently using Malwarebytes app because it can be set up to scan on demand. I typically don’t like some of the antivirus or anti malware that scan everytime an application is installed or opened. For the most part Android is pretty safe, especially if you only install apps from the play store…but it is nice to have an on demand malware scanner for those times when you are worried about something specific or when your phone start misbehaving .
8. Always check your Application permissions
I always check the permissions of the apps I’m installing and try to install from what I would consider reputable sources/developers. Also – if you are a bit of a coder or developer yourself it can be both a challenge, and a learning experience. For example I don’t trust any of the online ftp apps – maybe am just too careful but I think giving an application an internet access permission, sd card access permission, messages and contacts is just too much unless i
trust the developer.
Please feel free to post any experience and tips or tricks you have for avoiding malware and I will see about adding them to my blog post.
Please do not ask if something contains a virus, adware or a malware, if you are not sure about an file then don’t use or install it.
Thanks for reading I hope you learn something new and enjoy the post your comment and opinion are always welcome.
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