Google's Android has far surpassed it's initial description of being a mobile Operating System and now has become more of a Computing Platform which is being used to achieve different purposes. Android OS( Operating System) is now not limited to smartphones as now we have tablet Pc's, wearables , Smart TV's and other devices that run on it. With it's increasing usage the treat on this operating system has also increased. Android Devices has it's own range of malware and digital threats that focus on it and these threats has a wide range and are not limited to just viruses.
Android Viruses and Malware
A “Virus” is a program that replicates itself by attaching to another program. But in Case of Android Devices, we have not seen malware that replicate itself like a PC virus can, and specifically on Android this does not exist, so technically there are no Android viruses. However, there are many other types of malware present that can affect android devices. Virus is just an umbrella term used to represent all these malwares. Several researchers have confirmed the spike in numbers for viruses especially designed for Android. Similar to computer virus, they can have different purpose, such as remote device access, data stealing and identity theft or any other form of privacy breach. These threats can be of the form adware, spyware, keylogger etc and need to be dealt with. The most dangerous aspect of these threats is that they work silently, without the user's knowledge. Keeping all these things i
Several researchers have proven the increasing number of viruses that focus on Android devices. Just like computer viruses, these have different purposes, such as remote device access, data stealing and identity theft. So, it’s essential to deal with Android digital threats like adware, spyware, and keyloggers. An important thing about Android viruses is that they work silently, without the user knowing about them.
How These Virus Enter Your Devices
Most of the users themselves allow these viruses to enter their phones unknowingly. The most common path used by these malwares to enter your devices are:
- Your Clicks: You might have seen quite-attractive links while browsing the web — such as the one to get 200% battery or get 100GB of data for free and you have won a prize. When you click on those links, you are exposing your device to malware. In seconds, a few files will be downloaded into your device and it will be in trouble. These links use the same way many that many content creater on YouTube use i.e Clickbait.
- Pirated Apps: Do you download APK files from unknown sources? In our blog, we have already told you why it is harmful to use pirated software. It’s the same thing for Android apps too. These pirated apps may come with non-trusted code and malware in it. It’s kind of giving away your data to the hackers.
- Ads: Most dark-web sites have nasty advertisements down there. One click on these is enough to compromise your data and safety. Perhaps this is the most used method to infect devices with a virus.
These are not the only available methods, but there are some of the most commonly used.
Impact Of Viruses On Your Android Device
Android Virus may not affect your devices visibly as they do not change or modify your device files but they do tamper with your privacy. The most notable impact that these virus have on Android Devices have are:
- Data Stealing: This is perhaps the most important and common function of Android viruses. They try to steal almost all kinds of information from your Android Devices. This includes your contacts, passwords, usernames, and everything you have stored in the device memory.
- Key Logging: Key logging is another way to know what the targeted user is doing in the device. Everything you type — from usernames to passwords and from SMS messages to others — can be tracked using these loggers as they monitor all the keys you touch or press.
- Privacy Theft: Identity theft is the new way of Android viruses. You cannot know if there is a virus running on the device, and until you find that your security is compromised, everything will be silent. So, this is the worst thing you can expect from a virus infection. This is one of the worst case scenario that can happen with you. Almost all the Android Devices come with GPS or camera, hence using this malware someone can monitor you using your device.
What Can You Do About It
For the starters we can adopt some good practices . According to multiple surveys, 99% of malicious apps are not distributed by the Google Play Store. So one the first thing we should do is avoid installing apps from unkown sources.
The only way to get rid of Android viruses is to have some safe usage habits. That is, you need to be very conscious when you are using the web from the device.
Most importantly, try to download applications from trusted sources like the Google Play store. By sticking with these trusted sources, you can escape the risk of installing non-safe apps. Secondly, you should be careful about the links you visit. When it comes to downloading something other than apps, you should select only the trusted ones.
When installing an app, you should know the required permissions you are allowing the app. These permission should be allowed depending on the app. If a camera app is asking for the Contacts information, there is something wrong. Also, it becomes necessary to constantly know what your apps are doing in background as if an app that doesn't need to run all the time is running in background is bad news and should be unistalled. Since we have the flexibility to modify these permissions we should do so.
If you can keep these safe usage habits, you can escape the risks of Android viruses.
Some people may think that using antivirus can be a good option to tackle these problems but there has been a statement that Antivirus apps for Android are useless. Since these Virus are not the conventional PC viruses, antivirus are not useful to tackle them. But what we can do is to make ourself safe from these malware is to adopt these healthy practices to stop these viruses from entering our devices as this is the only way we can make sure we are safe from these malwares.