That's because Android is proving to be the mobile platform of choice for hackers and other Bad Guys looking to access, steal or otherwise compromise personal information on mobile devices.
(Contrary to popular believe, not even Android app permissions are safe from hackers.)
Any mobile watcher/analyst/blogger/whatever worth his or her salt saw the Android threat coming a mile away. I certainly did, and that's why I wrote a handful of Android security tips last year. Security software company Athigo apparently appreciated my tips, and it recently asked me for approval to use them as the basis for a security policy in its free Mobile Security Advisor app, which is currently available in the Android Market. (I said yes.)
Athigo's Mobile Security Advisor is very basic, and it doesn't provide the level of security available via paid apps like McAfee's recently updated McAfee Mobile Security app, which currently costs $29.99. (Athigo also offers a paid version of its security app for enterprises called Mobile Policy Advisor.) But Athigo's consumer security software is free, and it's certainly a step in the right direction for users who aren't currently using any sort of Android security safeguards.
Mobile Security Advisor compares all your Android security settings to lists of "expert recommendations," including my own security tips, and alerts you if your settings represent a potential risk. I've been using the app for the past couple of weeks, and though I did find a few minor bugs, it seems to work quite well.
Here's a quick list of app features from Athigo:
- Overview of security
- Drill down to specific security settings
- Notifications when things change
- Highlight and prioritize problem areas
- Automatically fix most security problems
- Step-by-step instructions
Athigo's Mobile Security Advisor on its own won't likely be enough to protect your Android smartphone from all current threats, but along with some user awareness and vigilance, the app can certainly be a valuable component in your Android security toolset.