As covid-19 cases spiral out of control in the US, states are scrambling to fight the virus with an increasingly stretched arsenal. Many of them have the same weapons at their disposal: restrictions on public gatherings and enforcement of mask wearing, plus testing, tracing, and exposure notifications. But while many states struggle to get their […]
Ever since modern smartphone operating systems were created, we’ve heard conflicting stories over just how secure they are. It seems that in one moment we hear that iOS is more secure than Android, only to follow that up with stories that say Android is more secure.
That makes it hard to figure out just which, if any, smartphone operating systems are secure.
That’s compounded by the increasing number of stories talking about malware in the Google Play Store, bugs in apps that create security issues, or even viruses. With all of those negative stories, is your Android phone even secure at all?
So, are Android phones secure?
Short answer: Yes, but the users aren’t
See, Android as an operating system is pretty secure. It has multiple layers of protection to keep out malware, which all add up to stopping anything nasty getting into the system partition, where it would be harder to remove. It’s also got multiple layers of permissions necessary before apps can do anything sensitive with your data.
The thing is, the weakest point of any secure environment is often the user. Android is no exception to this, and the open nature of the operating system means there is an inherent level of trust between the user and the developers. That’s before you get into things like rooting, which gives the user supreme control over their device, at the cost of increasing the attack surface for malware.
READ MORE: Are Android phones encrypted?
The operating system also can’t really do anything about an app that the user approves, siphoning off data to wherever. Make sure you check reviews for apps before installing them, have a closer look at the permissions that an app requests when you install, and make sure those permissions seem reasonable for what the app is meant to do. If you follow all of those steps, you should be reasonably well-protected.