Traditional ransomware like WannaCry has been explained a thousand ways on a thousand blogs. But one thing you may not have thought about is what ransomware on your Android device would trigger.
Read on to learn more.
How does ransomware make it onto your Android device?
Like its desktop equivalent, mobile ransomware needs to be installed on your device before it can do damage. For Android devices, this means mobile apps that hide their true intent. There are two ways to install programs on your mobile device. One is to download them from app stores. Another is to download them directly from websites and email links.
Surprisingly, both come with risks. Unverified sources often advertise free apps that hide malware. The best of these can occasionally avoid detection and be allowed into monitored app stores.
What does mobile ransomware look like?
Similar to ransomware on personal computers, mobile ransomware holds data stored on your device hostage and demands ransom. In the case of a ransomware that came with the “OK” app, a Russian social network platform infected this year, a user is prompted to change device settings. There is no option to close the prompt and tapping Accept locks everything down and leaves you with nothing but a ransom note.
How to protect yourself from mobile ransomware?
First, avoid downloading apps directly from websites or third-party app stores.
Additionally, make sure you turn on Google’s security system — Verify Apps — which scans all the apps about to be installed on your device for potential threats. To do this: open your Android’s settings, choose Security, tap on Verify Apps, and activate ‘Scan device for security threats’.
Second, install antivirus software on your device and keep it up to date.
Third, back up important files from your device.
You can use a USB disk, a computer, or any cloud-based services. This way, you won’t lose your valuable data if you are forced to factory-reset your device.
Last, if ransomware made its way into your device, don’t pay.
According to IT security company ESET, mobile ransomware very rarely includes programming to reverse the damage it has done.
Losing any type of data is an enormous inconvenience, but businesses need to be especially careful about careless employees. Data loss could result in lawsuits or regulatory fines, so it’s important that you know how to safeguard your Android against ransomware.
For more in-depth advice on how to protect yourself and your business from this threat, get in touch with our experts today.