Be afraid! Be extremely afraid! A whole host of hackers are out there waiting to harness your Android for their own devices and according to experts, the data theft problem is only going to worsen. Whether it’s a rogue app which installs itself with a Trojan virus to boot or an unscrupulous soul hacking into your voicemail, your personal details are hot property should someone be able to harvest them. Follow our top tips to steer clear of the dodgy Android operators however, and you’ll be able to swat them away like the pesky critters they are.

1) Download your apps from respectable sources

Although Google slipped earlier this year in its vetting of the Android Market, their app store is still the best place to spend your money without risking any unwanted intrusions into your handset.

If you insist on heading to third-party stores be sensible with the content you download. There’s no need to lecture here, it’s just a case of common sense. Spotify, yes. Nubile Teens In Compromising Positions, no.

2) Pay attention when you install

No app is going to have “I want to steal all of your money” written on its installation guide but rogue traders will give off telltale signs that all may not be as it seems. If Google Maps wants to use your GPS then that’s a reasonable request. If Britney Spears Solitaire wants to do the same, then give the songstress a miss.

3) Clear your data

What hackers are ultimately looking for when they tap into your Android is personal data. Erase this potential treasure trove by turning off any autosave functions on your in-phone browser and logging out of accounts when you’re finished surfing the internet. If you’re still twitchy about the idea of mobile banking just steer clear of it altogether.

4) Download an anti-virus app

So your smartphone has succumbed to a mysterious illness. All is not lost. Grab a free anti-virus and data back up app in the shape of Lookout Mobile Security to set your Android right. Pay premium for $2.99 per month, UK users have to pay in US dollars we’re afraid, and you can even back up your photos, call history and perform a remote wipe if your precious smartphone is stolen.

5) Change your voicemail password

The dirty truth about truth about voicemail hacking is that it is extremely easy to do. So easy that that certain News Of The World journalists were able to have a field day using the practice. The process works by someone imitating your phone’s ID allowing them to call directly into your voicemail.

Some voicemails will not have a password set up, meaning hackers can instantaneously access the entirety of your stored message library. Other voicemails will have a pre-established password in the vein of ‘0000’, meaning your messages are still a gift to potential hackers. Take the time set a personalised password for your voicemail and all such loopholes are instantly erased.

6) Try not to worry too much

Although the threat of Android viruses is real and increasingly rapidly, if you’ve got a half a brain cell to rub together and follow the tips above then you’ll be fine. Besides you’re reading Life Of Android, it’s guaranteed you have plenty of brain cells to rub together.



  • John Chorley

    November 10th, 2011 09:20 AM

    I never purchase my apps from a 3rd party source. The market place is at the moment the best and most secure place to get your android apps from.

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