Not that long ago, Android officially became the most popular operating system.
Yes, this means that Microsoft Windows has lost its crown! But just because something is popular, you shouldn’t assume that safety is a given. Even though developers are working overtime to improve the end users’ experience and security, you should exercise caution at all times to avoid becoming the victim of cyber criminals with their vast repertoire of tricks. In fact, the more popular an operating system becomes, the more lucrative it gets for them to try and bring it to its knees and target its users based on the numbers alone.
So with that in mind, what are the most notable security trends Android users should keep in mind in 2019?
1. Antivirus scanners
It’s easy to assume that antivirus scanners serve nothing more than to drain your smartphone’s valuable resources and battery life, but this is not the case. They won’t drain your battery any more than any other regular app and won’t slow down your phone’s performance either.
Depending on the product you choose to go with, you can also take advantage of its phishing protection features.
The best antivirus scanners also allow for scanning URLs for malware, so you can make sure that the website you’re about to visit is 100% clean.
Since there are so many free Android antivirus scanners on the market that are considered safe to use, why take on unnecessary risk if you don’t have to? Soon upon realizing this, more and more people will install one, thus making this one of the prevalent trends of 2019.
2. Call blocking
The most daring of cybercriminals are willing to go beyond the constraints of trying to hack your accounts or steal data from you. By having the audacity to call you directly, a swindler can have a chat with you one-on-one and pretend to be selling a legitimate product or service, only to get you to a fake payment processing page. Worse yet, some of these cybercriminals have already had success in convincing their victims to hand over sensitive data such as passwords and credit card numbers by presenting themselves as a voice of authority.
Refusing to answer incoming calls that don’t reveal the caller’s ID is one thing, but if someone keeps harassing you although you’d said “no” in the past, call blocking is the solution you need. As such, we’re likely to see many more of these call blockers in 2019.
Read: Staying safe: Avoiding SIM and M-Pesa fraud
Antivirus scanners are sure to come in handy, and there’s no doubt about it. However, that’s more like pouring water over a fire that’s already raging wild. What if you could spot the spark at its source and prevent it from being ignited in the first place?
That’s exactly what firewalls are for. By installing one on your Android smartphone, you get to control all the web traffic that goes in and out of your device.
Have you spotted a suspicious-looking incoming connection? It’s best not to take any chances and block it straight off the bat. By having a firewall installed, pressing a simple button is all it takes for this to happen. On a similar note, if you suspect that a fraudulent app is trying to establish a connection from your phone, you can prevent that from happening as well. Firewalls were designed to take the control back into your hands, and we will be seeing much more of them put into action in 2019.
Too many people are putting their faith in unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots that can be found all around the town without even having to look around for one. But is the faith justified? Convenience is great, no arguments there. Should it come at the expense of security, however, the tradeoff is hardly worth it. Still, the above-mentioned conclusion doesn’t mean that going the extreme way and avoiding them altogether is the only thing left to do.
On the contrary; using a VPN is a simple and straightforward solution to the problem. By using one, all the data that gets sent in and out of your device is placed in an encrypted tunnel, so that no one can intercept it. Is the safety of your login credentials any dear to you? Then it’s easy to see why VPNs will be a big thing in 2019. You can get an Android-optimized VPN here.
Which one of these trends do you think will end up being the talk of the year?