How to Avoid Malware and Fully Protect Yourself

Last updated on December 24, 2018 Views: 730 Comments: 7

If you recently decided to make the switch from iPhone to Android you may be wondering just how to transfer data, contacts, passwords etc from one OS to another. Well, we’re here to help you! With the right guidance, the process can be quick and seamless. There are also some key tips you need to know when using an Android phone which iPhone users won’t be too familiar with.

Ever since the birth of smartphones, Android and iOS have competed for the market share. Currently, the two companies are responsible for a whopping 98% of smartphone sales; Android holds the lion’s share with 80%, iOS is second with a relatively modest 18%, and BlackBerry and Windows make up the remaining 2%.

iOS has seen a slight upward shift in sales recently, and the new iPhone X set to hit all-time record highs, yet Android still remains the most popular operating system by some distance, and users are constantly trading in their iPhones for Samsungs, Sonys, LGs, Motorolas, and more. Some of the reasons people make the switch are:

  • It’s an Android: This may be stating the obvious, but Android phones give you access to the incredible world of Google. Google has developed many amazing programs in the last decade, and Google software is way easier to use on an Android phone. The Android system allows for a lot more personalization and the technological possibilities are far more enticing than those of iOS.
  • Better Battery: Samsung phones barely need charging once a day if they’re not overused and+ other Android models have similar capabilities, but iPhone users regularly moan about how often their phones need to be charged.
  • User-friendly: Apple iCloud receives a barrage of complaints on a near constant basis. Users moan about the need to sign in all the time, the limited amount of storage, and Keychain has had some security issues in the past. In contrast, Google Smart Lock is near perfect technology, heralded for its innovative brilliance ever since it was released.
  • A range of Phones: With Android, you can choose between many different phones with different prices and features. Fancy a budget phone, try the Samsung J range, or the Moto G5, want a high-end phone, then you can choose between the Samsung Galaxy and the Google Pixel. or you can go overboard and get the Sirin Solarin for $15k. Compare this with iPhone users who get to choose between white, black, and second-hand.
  • Control: With Android, you have complete control over your device, you can customize it, adjust all sorts of settings, access 3rd party App stores, and more. With iOS, you have to jailbreak it first, which leads to all sorts of problems and security issues.

Essentially, consumers crave choice, the ability to personalize, and have control over their device. These are just some of the reasons why Android is vastly outselling iOS, and why so many users switch from the former to the latter. However, iOS isn’t all bad: the Apple ecosystem is perfectly in sync, and if you have an iPhone, Mac, iPad, Apple TV, and an Apple Watch, you’ill be amazed by how just how seamless the cross-device functionality is. Moreover, the primary advantage Apple has over its rivals is security and antivirus protection.

Making the Switch from iPhone to Android? Don’t Forget to Add some Antivirus to Your Shopping Cart

So by now, you’ve decided to switch, you’re going to trade in your iPhone for a flashy new Android phone, but as well as wondering how to switch iPhones to Androids, you should also be worried about security. As an Apple user, you’ve been spoiled. You never really had to worry about viruses and malware affecting your phone (unless you jailbroke it). But now that you’re getting an Android, there’s something you need to know, namely, Androids get viruses.

Open Source Software. There are a few reasons why Androids are relatively unsafe when compared to iOS. First, Android uses ‘open source software’ which means anyone can inspect, modify, or enhance the source code. The ‘source code’ is the code which controls how the software works; all the applications and various systems on Android have been programmed using a code, and this code can be manipulated. iOS, on the other hand, is under the exclusive control of Apple, this is known as ‘closed source software.’

A lot of the above advantages for Android are contingent upon this distinction – more customization and choice means less security and safeguards.

Third Party Apps. Perhaps the most significant difference, in terms of security, between iOS and Android is that with Android you’re less restricted when it comes to downloading apps. With iPhones, you can only use the App Store, which is closely monitored and regulated, so you can be sure that no fraudulent or virus-laden apps are ever lurking.

However, Android users can download Apps from the third party sources. Some are well-known and trustworthy, like Amazon, but some are not, and they may originate from cybercrime hotspots like Russia or China. Apps downloaded from these places can be filled with malware, which can wreak havoc once installed; they can shut down your system, delete your apps and files, and permanently shut off your phone. They can even steal all your sensitive and personal data, not to mention hand over your banking information and passwords to hackers and thieves.

There are several recent examples of Android phones being hacked:

  • Gooligan: In 2016, hackers managed to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars and infect over one-million Android phones by getting users to install a fraudulent app from a third party source. The malware-filled app was able to steal data and siphon it off to cybercriminals.
  • Cloak and Dagger: In June 2017, criminals launched an attack on Android phones. The hackers took advantage of vulnerabilities in Android’s security systems to place a fraudulent App in the Google Play Store. Once installed, the App was able to completely take control of the phone and steal information. Due to the stealth nature of the operation, the media dubbed it the ‘cloak and dagger’ attack.

Thankfully, you can easily upgrade your phone’s security and render it invulnerable to hackers by investing in antivirus software. This software can scan any app before it’s downloaded and prevent it from being installed. It can also identify phishing emails, fraudulent URLs, and it can upgrade the overall security making it impregnable. See our best antivirus software review for our list of recommended software.

Switching iPhone to Android? Here are 3 Tips

Switching to Android is quite different from simply upgrading your iPhone 8 to an iPhone X, where all you have to do is enter your new password and voila!- your data is restored and you can start to play around with facial recognition feature. However, when switching from iPhone to Android you need to essentially re-sync your life.

Smartphone users tend to have dozens of apps, email accounts, social media accounts, WhatsApp/Telegram chat, pictures, videos, and more, and when you switch to Android you may well have to start afresh. However, if you use a Google account on your iPhone and save your information on a cloud, then your contacts, calendar, etc. can be synced quite easily. But – be prepared to pay when you reinstall some of your apps.

Here are three tips on how to switch iPhones to Androids:

Tip #1: How to transfer data from iPhone to Android

If you have a Gmail account, then the simplest way is to move all your contacts and calendar dates from iCloud to your Gmail. Simply log in to the iCloud, click on contacts, choose select all, then select Export vCard. Then, log in to Gmail and import your contacts. You can repeat this process with any importable data, such as calendar entries, browser bookmarks, etc. There are also apps which can store and subsequently import your data, search for them in the App Store, and as always, make sure they’re reliable.

Tip #2: Moving photos and videos

There are several ways to get all your precious photos and videos from your iPhone to an Android. The fastest and simplest way is to connect your phone to a PC, transfer the files to the computer, then link your Android to the same computer and download the files. You can do this with a USB cord or wirelessly, but the wireless method will take longer.

Alternatively, you can download a file sharing app, such as Dropbox or OneDrive, which is compatible with both iOS and Android. Create an account, upload all your pictures and videos to the app, then install the app on your new phone and download the files again.

Tip #3: Getting to know Google services

If you’ve been an Apple user for a long time you may not be familiar with many Google services. Before you make the switch we strongly recommend learning how to use each one as they can greatly enhance your user experience. Android phones come with the Youtube app, which is ideal for video sharing, Google Maps is an excellent navigation system, Google Drive can backup all your files, and Google Hangouts is great for messaging. There are many more, and new ones are being developed constantly, so when you break out of the self-enclosed Apple ecosystem make sure you learn what’s available and how it can be used to improve your Android journey.

Article comments

Xavier says:

It seems like I might be better off with skipping the switchover, and I’ve downloaded too many dodgy apps in the past.

Holmes says:

As an Android user, I can tell you that using your brain for something other than a hatrack is the best way to avoid malware infection. Don’t download suspect apps and stick to trusted sources for the legit apps. The trouble usually comes when users get cute in where they download apps or they install any and everything on their phone. Just like PCs, if you install junk on your Android, it will eventually become junk.

Benn says:

Why would anyone want to switch from iPhone to Android??? Are you joking??? hahahaha

Paul R. says:

I’m thinking about making the switch but want to give my iPhone to a family member when I’m done with it. Is there any risk that my iPhone is going to be come ‘cross-contaminated’ by a virus or whatever that is on the Android? Giving my brother a phone that’s crippled by malware seems like a jerk thing to do, lol

ST Editor says:

Hi! We appreciate your concern for your brother’s future phone. While Android devices do tend to be slightly more vulnerable to viruses and malware than iPhones, we haven’t heard of cases where there is any cross-contamination. To have that happen you’d need to have a live connection between the two phones and be constantly streaming information between them. You should definitely look into malware protection for your new phone, but your iPhone should remain safe even if you transfer your contacts and other important data from your old iPhone.

Pete says:

Great article but I am not ready to make the switch from iPhone. But you got me wondering if I need something extra for it. I spent a lot of money on the X and I don’t want to see it hacked. I heard iOS is stronger than Android, so is extra protection in the form of antivirus software really necessary?

ST Editor says:

Hi, and thanks for the great question! Indeed, iOS is known as a highly secure operating system, and there are few known attacks for it. However, if you’re concerned, and want to make absolutely sure your phone is safe against any attacks, an antivirus is a great tool considering it can provide you with both protection and peace of mind. Keep in mind that even the safest systems have been hacked before, so adding a layer of protection may be a small price to pay to keep your phone in top shape for as long as possible. Let us know how it goes with your iPhone!