Is Android becoming the Windows of the mobile world when it comes to malware?

While the 90s and early 2000s saw the spread of computers, home PCs and the growing popularity of the laptop, it seems that the current decade is all about the handheld device revolution.

Tablets and Smartphones are now more popular than ever before and with hardware becoming cheaper and cheaper with each passing day and technological advances making gadgets smarter, sleeker and more multifunctional.

But with the growing use of handheld devices comes the threat of malware and virus attacks and industry experts along with recent surveys suggest that it is the Android platform that is at the greatest risk.

The fact that some believe Android is going the route of Windows is believable as just like Windows, Android mobiles and tablets have a large user base.

Latest figures suggest that 60 percent of the smartphone market share belongs to the Android mobile with iOS owning 23 percent of the market. And greater number of devices simply means a greater chance for malware to spread and increased number of targets for hackers. The ‘open source’ nature of Android, which has made it so very popular is also one of the biggest reasons why it is more open to attacks.

Those using Android mobiles usually install a third-party app that is not provided by any trusted ‘app store’ as it is in the case of Apple users or those few who use Windows mobiles. This automatically opens up a great opportunity for hackers to spread malware by alluring users with apps that either simply spread viruses or access far more information than they need to. Multi-functional Trojans that steal data, backdoors giving complete control of user gadgets and third-party apps that secretly obtain data have grown from 5000 in Q1 of 2012 to 15,000 in the Q2!

While the likes of Simplitec could help us counter such threats effectively when it comes to the Windows PC platform, similar comprehensive anti-virus protection units from trusted software sources could also eliminate many of the threats posed by Android malware. Apart from having a anti-virus suite, the other simple thing you could do is stay away from suspicious third-party apps that come from lesser known publishers.

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