Pre-installed apps on Android devices usually offer great convenience. Not having to download any news, weather, music, or video apps can save users’ time, as well as money on occasion.
Many users believe their new devices to be secure, as they should be. However, some studies have shown that this is not the case.
Pre-installed apps can carry many risks, which is why it’s advisable for all new smartphone owners to download antimalware apps and a VPN for Android immediately.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the major risks that come with pre-installed apps and what users should do to ensure their safety and privacy.
The Risks of Pre-installed Apps
Pre-installed Android apps carry certain risks that iPhone apps don’t. When it comes to the Apple App Store, every app goes through a rigorous validation process. Google Play Store has no such validation. Anyone can create an app, upload it to the Google Play Store, and Google only intervenes if there are complaints about a specific app.
This creates some major safety concerns for Android users. Two of the biggest problems are malware and data collecting services.
Malware that’s pre-installed on an Android device can cause a variety of problems. One of them is simply annoying – adware. Installed adware often displays pop-ups, downloads suspicious files, can slow down the device, and infest it with other malware.
This creates a great security threat, especially to the new Android owners who believe their devices to be safe. Users risk losing a lot of valuable information, their pictures, files, music, etc. This is not all, however.
Pre-installed malware can steal other valuable information, such as email address, bank account information, credit card information, and more.
Infected apps tend to use more mobile data, resulting in a great deal of money lost by the user, especially in places where mobile data is expensive.
Another problem with pre-installed apps on Android devices is third-party data-collecting services. Unlike with downloaded apps, users don’t have insight into third-party agreements. They don’t know who’s collecting their information, and what that information is being used for.
When downloading a new app, the app shows which permissions it needs. The user then gets to decide whether they want to allow the permissions or not.
With pre-installed apps, it’s difficult to find out what kind of data the apps are gathering and who they’re sharing that data with. This creates privacy concerns that should not be overlooked.
While 70% of Android users would prefer their new devices to come with pre-installed apps, it’s important for them to have their privacy in mind and immediately download security apps.
Ways to Ensure Security
When it comes to pre-installed apps, there are only a couple of things new Android owners can do to ensure their safety and privacy. Those include installing a trusted anti-malware software and investing in a VPN for Android.
Both of these steps are essential, so let’s see why.
The Benefits of Antimalware Apps
Over 350,000 new malicious programs, apps, and malware are registered on a daily basis. This only serves to show the importance of downloading antimalware apps and keeping them up to date.
These apps detect malicious software, report any found issues, and remove suspicious files as soon as they’re detected.
With the number of mobile phone users on the rise, more and more people store their vital and sensitive information on their phones. Any pre-installed malicious app could steal this information and cause various problems for the phone owners.
Installing antimalware apps as soon as a new device is bought ensures protection from the very start.
VPN for Android
More than 60% of fraud originates from mobile devices, driving home the point that all users have to take precautions to ensure their safety.
While it doesn’t offer protection against malware, a VPN for Android offers security in anonymity. The best mobile VPNs create an encrypted and secure connection to the public network and ensure that all internet traffic from the device is invisible.
This means that the user’s behavior cannot be seen by any intruders, be it their own internet provider, service provider, or even the VPN provider itself.
All internet traffic is routed through remote servers, allowing users to hide their device location and stay anonymous online.
While it’s impossible to know whether a new Android device has any pre-installed apps with malicious software, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and install anti-malware software and a VPN for Android. This will not only keep the users protected from malicious pre-installed apps, but it will also keep them safe from future cyber attacks or security breaches.