Android Security: How Secure Is Your Android Phone?

There’s little debate over the recent headlines which have highlighted – on several occasions – the rising threat to Android users’. Threats such as hacking attempts, data theft from stolen phones, and malware are only a few examples of the many threats to your Android phone. Thankfully, the following set of tips can help you keep your Android phone away from harm’s way.

Download only trusted apps:

The foremost thing you can do is to be vigilant when it comes to downloading apps on your Android device. The key to staying safe is to avoid downloading applications from non-trusted sources such as torrents and other external websites – only download apps from the Google Play Store. Apps published on the play store are thoroughly tested and screened for malware and other security threats, so every time you download an app from the Play Store, you can be confident that it’s safe.

Use Antivirus software:

All too often, Smart phone users neglect the security of their Smart phones by not installing Antivirus software. Even though, the Play store pre-screens all apps before they are approved, it’s usually not enough to prevent viruses from infecting your Android Device – as more than often – Android user tend to download applications such as APK files from unknown sources, despite knowing of the risks associated with external sources. Thus, this is where antivirus software becomes a necessity. Though, not all antivirus apps can be trusted fully, therefore, users should be picky about which app they can trust to offer them reliable protection. Thankfully, there are plenty of trustworthy antivirus apps available for free download, such as AVG, Avast, Norton, Kapersky and lookout are great examples of the most popular and dependable antivirus applications on the Play Store.

Lock away sensitive files:

Statistically, smart phones contain more personal information about us than any other personal device. Thus, this makes smart phones a hot target for thieves – your personal information and the device itself can be a real steal, literally. To make matters worse, chances are higher of you losing your smart phone compared to other portable devices, because we tend to carry our phones with us almost everywhere. Therefore, locking your personal images, videos, PDF documents and other private information is essential to prevent your delicate data from leaking into the wrong hands, such as your girlfriend, your boss, or worse – identity thieves. Consequently, there are plenty of free applications available to download on the Play Store, perhaps the most comprehensive of all file locking software is Folder Lock.

Top 5 eBook Apps for Android

Android phones and tablets are excellent devices for eBook reading. You can get free apps for your Android device that you can use to read your eBooks from the major sources including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. You can also read eBooks on Android that you download from any other store. Below are the top 5 most popular eBook apps for Android.

1. Amazon Kindle Android App

The Kindle App for Android lets you read all of your Kindle eBooks on an Android device, even if you don’t own a Kindle eReader. If you do have a Kindle, you can read your eBooks on both the Kindle and Android device. Your reading progress will be synced between the devices with Amazon’s “Whispersinc” technology. Like the Kindle itself and other Kindle apps, you can access free content and download eBooks for $9.99.

Download: Search for “Kindle” in the Android Market.

Android OS Version Supported: Android OS 1.6 or higher.

eBooks Supported: Amazon Kindle eBooks in the AZW format that are only sold at Amazon.com.

2. Barnes & Noble Nook Android App

The Android Nook App from Barnes & Noble lets you read all of the Nook eBooks on your Android device without having to own a Nook eReader. Barnes & Noble’s Nook system is unique in that it will let you lend content with their “LendMe” software. You can also sample any of the Nook books for free before you buy.

Download: Search for “NOOK” in the Android Market.

Android OS Version Supported: Android OS 1.6 or higher.

eBooks Supported: If you want to read using the Nook App, then you should get eBooks from Barnes & Noble’s Nook store.

3. Sony Reader Android App

The Sony Reader Android app comes pre-loaded with three classic titles and three excerpts from bestselling eBooks. You can sync your reading position, bookmarks, and highlights to Reader Daily Edition (PRS-950SC with firmware 2.0). Like the other apps, you can also read Sony Reader eBooks even if you don’t have a Sony Reader.

Download: Search for “Sony Reader” in the Android Market.

Android OS Version Supported: Android OS 2.2 or higher.

eBooks Supported: If you want to read Sony Reader eBooks on your Android device, get them from Sony’s “Reader Store”.

4. Kobo eReader Android App

With the Kobo Android app, you can buy eBooks from inside the app and download them directly to your phone. Take your entire library with you on the go. You can find all of your favorite titles and authors in Kobo’s large eBook selection.

Download: Search for “Kobo” in the Android Market.

Android OS Version Supported: Android OS 1.6 or higher.

eBooks Supported: If you want to use the Kobo Android app, you should download eBooks from the KoboBooks website.

5. Aldiko Android App

The Aldiko Android App gives eBook lovers an alternative to apps from the bigger book companies listed above. With Aldiko, you are not locked into one eBook store. Instead, you can buy eBooks from any eBook retailer that sells Adobe PDF or EPUB eBooks. You can download eBooks directly to your device without needing to use your computer. Import your own content and create your own eBook catalogs.

Download: Search “Aldiko: in the Android Market.

Android OS Version Supported: Android OS 2.1 or higher.

eBooks Supported: The Aldiko Book Reader supports Adobe-DRM ePub and PDF as well as non-encrypted ePub and PDF formats. You can get eBooks anywhere ePub and PDF eBooks are sold or available for free. You can also get eBooks from your public library (where supported).

All of these apps are solid solutions for eBook reading. Choose the one that will work best for you based on the eBook reader or mobile device that you own, and the eBooks that you’ve already purchased and downloaded.