How to Prevent Malware on an Android Phone or Tablet

Introduction

Malware is software that is specifically designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system. While malware can be prolific on Windows machines, it isn't normally associated with Android systems. Android, however, can become infected by downloading malware laden apps in the Google Play Store.
In this guide you'll learn how to recognize malware and methods to prevent infection of your Android device.
Android robot

1 Tips to Prevent Malware

Malware is any software used to disrupt computer or mobile operations, gather sensitive information, gain access to private computer systems, or display unwanted advertising. There are a few ways you can keep your Android device protected from malware.

Always keep your device up to date

Making sure your apps and Android itself is always using the latest version is an easy way to secure your device. Android and app updates not only add new features, they can also address bugs and software vulnerabilities (security holes or weaknesses).
Update Your Android Device

Avoid Malicious Apps

Installing apps is one of the main methods of infecting your device with malware. Follow these tips to help avoid malicious apps.

Use Only the Official Google Store
Google Play Store. Install only apps you downloaded from the Google App Store. While that doesn't guarantee the app is clean of malware, you can use reviews and research to keep yourself safer.
Do Not Root
An open lock Avoid rooting your device. Rooting is the process of bypassing the restrictions carriers place on Android devices and taking full control of your device. With a root device, you can install apps and tweaks that aren't authorized, but you also remove the protections that Android has built into it. This can put your device at risk.
Reviews
StarsYou can check user reviews to see if other people have issues with an app before installing it on your device. While not all reviews will prove to be helpful, if there is a problem with the app, chances are the reviews will reveal these sorts of things.

Secure your device

Protecting your device for those times when it's out of your reach or not in your possession will keep your personal information safe, and prevent someone else from doing something that could create problems for you down the road.

Android offers many ways to protect your data and device:

Fingerprint Locks
Fingerprint added with Done highlighted.
Screen Locks
SecurityAndroid allows you to create a custom PIN number that must be used to unlock your device. This is key if you do not want others to be able to access your device when you are not nearby.
Disable Unknown Sources
Security with Unknown sources toggle switch off and highlighted.Leaving Unknown sources enabled is a security risk because it allows Apps to be installed and run that are not from the Google Play store. In many cases this is harmless but in some cases the apps can be poorly written, have lax security or even be malicious.

Today's mobile devices contain a great deal of personal information about ourselves. If it were to fall into the hands of someone with malicious intent, that personal information along with the personal information of friends or family could be at risk. If you would like additional information on how to secure your device, the following guide may be of help.

Learn how to keep your Android device secure

Web browsers and Safe Browsing Skills

It is important to know that your mobile web browsers are vulnerable to some of the same things as your computer web browser.

Exercise good web browsing skills and be aware of what you're viewing. For example, don't click on random links or believe everything you read.
Learn more about how to protect yourself online.

Keep your data backed up

If all else fails and you do manage to get infected, you'll want to have a working backup of your system so you can restore it.
Why Backup
Time Machine Preferences First and foremost, it is always wise to backup you data and backups should be performed regularly. Even beyond the scope of malware or security, it is always prudent to have frequent backups because hard drives can fail, systems can crash, things can break, "life can happen", so you're always better off safe than sorry.
Google Drive
Google DriveGoogle Drive is Android's way of backing up your device's settings and apps.
Google Photos
Google Photos iconTo backup your photos and videos you can use Google Photos. It's free if you choose the high quality upload setting.

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Malware is software that is specifically designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system. While malware can be prolific on Windows machines, it isn't normally associated with Android systems. Android, however, can become infected by downloading malware laden apps in the Google Play Store.
In this guide you'll learn how to recognize malware and methods to prevent infection of your Android device.
Android robot

Malware is any software used to disrupt computer or mobile operations, gather sensitive information, gain access to private computer systems, or display unwanted advertising. There are a few ways you can keep your Android device protected from malware.

Always keep your device up to date

Making sure your apps and Android itself is always using the latest version is an easy way to secure your device. Android and app updates not only add new features, they can also address bugs and software vulnerabilities (security holes or weaknesses).
Update Your Android Device

Avoid Malicious Apps

Installing apps is one of the main methods of infecting your device with malware. Follow these tips to help avoid malicious apps.

Use Only the Official Google Store
Google Play Store. Install only apps you downloaded from the Google App Store. While that doesn't guarantee the app is clean of malware, you can use reviews and research to keep yourself safer.
Do Not Root
An open lock Avoid rooting your device. Rooting is the process of bypassing the restrictions carriers place on Android devices and taking full control of your device. With a root device, you can install apps and tweaks that aren't authorized, but you also remove the protections that Android has built into it. This can put your device at risk.
Reviews
StarsYou can check user reviews to see if other people have issues with an app before installing it on your device. While not all reviews will prove to be helpful, if there is a problem with the app, chances are the reviews will reveal these sorts of things.

Secure your device

Protecting your device for those times when it's out of your reach or not in your possession will keep your personal information safe, and prevent someone else from doing something that could create problems for you down the road.

Android offers many ways to protect your data and device:

Fingerprint Locks
Fingerprint added with Done highlighted.
Screen Locks
SecurityAndroid allows you to create a custom PIN number that must be used to unlock your device. This is key if you do not want others to be able to access your device when you are not nearby.
Disable Unknown Sources
Security with Unknown sources toggle switch off and highlighted.Leaving Unknown sources enabled is a security risk because it allows Apps to be installed and run that are not from the Google Play store. In many cases this is harmless but in some cases the apps can be poorly written, have lax security or even be malicious.

Today's mobile devices contain a great deal of personal information about ourselves. If it were to fall into the hands of someone with malicious intent, that personal information along with the personal information of friends or family could be at risk. If you would like additional information on how to secure your device, the following guide may be of help.

Learn how to keep your Android device secure

Web browsers and Safe Browsing Skills

It is important to know that your mobile web browsers are vulnerable to some of the same things as your computer web browser.

Exercise good web browsing skills and be aware of what you're viewing. For example, don't click on random links or believe everything you read.
Learn more about how to protect yourself online.

Keep your data backed up

If all else fails and you do manage to get infected, you'll want to have a working backup of your system so you can restore it.
Why Backup
Time Machine Preferences First and foremost, it is always wise to backup you data and backups should be performed regularly. Even beyond the scope of malware or security, it is always prudent to have frequent backups because hard drives can fail, systems can crash, things can break, "life can happen", so you're always better off safe than sorry.
Google Drive
Google DriveGoogle Drive is Android's way of backing up your device's settings and apps.
Google Photos
Google Photos iconTo backup your photos and videos you can use Google Photos. It's free if you choose the high quality upload setting.
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