When compared to desktop machines or even laptops, tablets like those running Android have the advantage of great mobility and ease of use, which is why they’ve become the ultimate convenience over the last few years. And because more and more people have come to rely on them for work and communications, the security of tablets has become an increasing concern. As Android tablets run with apps that collect its users’ data, this potentially leaves the device open to threats and other damage, and can inadvertently reveal users personal details, especially if the apps are malicious.
So, how can people protect themselves and make sure that their tablet is only running applications that are safe and secure?
Downloading from a trusted source
Downloading an app from well-known and legitimate sources, like Google Play, Samsung or Amazon, used to be good indicators that a site could be trusted. Since these sites are routinely monitored and scanned for fraudulent apps, you can feel assured that any app you buy from these stores are safe to use. But a recently isolated incident involving an app called “Virus Shield”, which sold on Google Play, has lead users to re-evaluate their downloading habits.
“Virus Shield” became a top selling app with several 5-star ratings on Google Play. It was bought and downloaded by over 30,000 Android users, who went on to discover that the app offered no functionality whatsoever. Dubbed as fake and a scam, the app has since been deleted from the store.
Taking more vigilant measures
To avoid becoming a victim in situations like this, there are several effective ways you can make sure your tablet is not vulnerable to fake applications.
Be informed when downloading from a trusted source, read about and research the application before making a purchase. Most people tend not to bother reading the small print and reviews that are published online, or on the store’s site itself. These will give you the information you need to protect yourself risk.
Change the security settings of your tablet, and enable or disable features as you see fit. The Android operating system is supposed to come with built-in features that will help detect or prevent any threats. If activated or set accordingly, the system will usually alert users when there is abnormal behaviour from the apps installed in the device.
Update your software. Some users may find this an inconvenience and forego updates when they come in. But patches from these updates can fix any bug or vulnerabilities of the tablets, which is why it is highly recommended. Sometimes, updates don’t come automatically, so to check online for this, you can simply go to the setting and find the option for system update.
Use third party anti-virus software
Because the market for tablets is growing, companies offering effective anti-virus solutions are increasingly becoming more reliable. If you are not too sure about downloading free anti-virus software from stores like Google Play, for example, then you should purchase separate third-party software for your Android device, from well-established companies that offer good after-purchase customer service.
Third party anti-virus software may come with monthly or yearly subscriptions, as well as different premium rates for different types of security measures. But do consider the benefits versus the cost carefully, before you make any purchase.
If you are looking to learn more about protecting your Android tablet, contact us today to see how we can help.