Google Android has been taking a lot of heat after it’s been revealed that over 50 malicious apps were distributed through the Android Market. Unlike the Apple App Store, the Android Market isn’t heavily screened, making it easier for developers to publish their applications than in other official OS markets. Google relies on user feedback and ratings to police the market, as well as requiring users to accept permissions before downloading and installing applications. On one hand, the openness of Android can be attributed to its exponential growth. But on the other, many are asking is the price of such openness too high?
While that may leave Google’s Android Market more vulnerable in some respects, security experts say all mobile operating systems are open to similar kinds of attacks. In the past, Apple has also pulled apps from its App Store after they were discovered to send information about users and their phones to outside parties without the users’ knowledge or consent.
Practice Safe Downloading
Like the Android Market, the MiKandi App Store makes it easy for developers to publish and monetize their apps. But every once in awhile a bad apple comes along and tries to ruin the batch. So, how can your protect your device from malicious apps? One thing to note is that in order to install any Android app, malicious or not, you must accept the app’s permissions. Pay attention to what the app is asking access to and ask questions if you have them. For example, a wallpaper application should not need access to your contact list.
App Download Best Practices
Below is a list we complied back in December 2009 of precautions you should take before downloading anything (mobile or web). Please take the time to review as it can be the difference between a working Android and a hacked one.
- Put on your sleuth cap. Research the developer of the application before downloading. Applications in the MiKandi marketplace are not created by MiKandi. Developers use our marketplace to connect with you, the end user. So before you hop into bed with an app, get some deets on the Developer. A Developer’s contact information can be found in the app description. If it’s not, just give us a shout at email@example.com and we’ll send you the info.
- Be cautious who you share your location with. Some apps allow you to share your location with the Developer, friends, or public at large. Refer to Guideline #2 and find out why the app you want needs that information. There are many fun apps out there that require access to your location.
- Listen to the tribe. MiKandi’s review process is driven by the community, as opposed to imposing our own review process. We leave the feedback to our community of users. Take note of what other end-users are saying about the app you want.
- Report abuse. Obviously, illegal content is NOT tolerated on MiKandi. If you discover an app with illegal content, please report the app in question at firstname.lastname@example.org
Developers are more than happy to answer any questions you may have regarding their application.