How to avoid malware on Android in one easy step

Jack Wallen offers up his best advice for avoiding malware on Android.


Image: Jack Wallen

We’re back to the topic that bears repeating every month or so: Android and malware. They seem to be like chocolate and peanut butter these days. But why? Is it the developer’s fault? Is the onus on Google?

I’m going to open a rather messy can of worms and say the blame could easily fall on the shoulders of everyone involved–including the user. But in the end, no matter how secure a platform Google released, if Android is used poorly, bad things will happen. The same holds true for Windows, macOS, and (gasp) even Linux. 

That’s right. I could deploy a Linux desktop to someone and if they misuse the platform, similar bad things could happen. 

So what’s a user to do? Nothing different than I’ve said before. In fact, I laid out a simple plan for users in 4 ways to avoid malware on Android. But as many an admin knows, the simpler the advice is for end users, the more likely the advice will stick.

My advice? Only install applications you have to have.

SEE: Windows 10 security: A guide for business leaders (TechRepublic Premium)

How users use devices

I know, it’s not really that easy. Why? Because users don’t have the control necessary to limit themselves to only installing required applications. According to this article from sister site ZDNet, social media takes up the bulk of smartphone usage, with Americans spending an average of just over an hour a day on Facebook and 48 minutes on Instagram. Millennials spend roughly 48 minutes per day texting, versus 30 minutes for baby boomers. Boomers, on the other hand, spend 43 minutes per day on email, whereas millennials spend less than 10 minutes per day within an email app.

Outside of that, the majority of time spent on smartphones is divided between the following apps/services:

  • Internet …