Because of the lack of cooperation in its distribution methodology, Android has become a derided operating system. Android 12 is the most recent example. The release of significant Android upgrades gets communicated between phone carriers, Google, and device manufacturers, resulting in massive update delays. But sadly, it is not a new problem, but rather an old one.
Google has released Android 12 for new devices at the right time. While the update is packed with new features and advances, just like Android 11, it isn’t as secure as it should be. Plus, there are a lot of bugs reported in Android 12. These range from inefficient battery life to unexpected reboots, and some users have reported additional issues and abnormalities. While Google is aware of the problem and is trying to resolve it by improving Android 12 security features but it is still falling behind its iOS counterpart.
Android’s Myriad of Problems
Android is an open-source ecosystem that is more vulnerable to criminal actors and hackers than other mobile operating systems. Even though Android’s open-source platform helps developers collaborate and participate freely in its development, it also makes it simpler for hostile parties to build and propagate strong malware that can enter and abuse the operating system through a variety of infiltration techniques.
Its massive popularity does not do it any favors since it means hackers will be focusing a majority of their energy on learning the ins and outs of this operating system and trying to capitalize on the slow OEM Android security distribution model. Thus Android’s biggest strength is also its biggest weakness.
Android contains about 4043 security issues, according to the security vulnerability database CVEDetails. The most prevalent are code executions, memory overflows, and Denial of Service (DOS) vulnerabilities. Researchers have discovered 37 security flaws for 2022 itself.
Hackers have previously taken advantage of Android security weaknesses. Google revealed four Android vulnerabilities that allowed malicious code to be run and total control of the devices in its Android Security Bulletin. The tech titan distributed security patches to device makers, who then distributed the upgrades to devices via over-the-air updates but only after months of delays with OEMs over patch compatibility and bug fixes.
It’s Not All Android’s Fault
Despite Android having its fair share of security issues, it’s not entirely the operating system’s fault. It’s a fault shared by every smart device. The reason is smart devices need to be kept turned on at all times to be practically functional. Due to this, they are vulnerable to phishing assaults, and since smartphones have become a necessity at this point, non-technical people who only know the basics about smartphones are especially vulnerable to all forms of hacking.
Smartphone users are especially vulnerable since they remain connected to the internet and actively have to use Internet services for example for checking, opening, and reading emails as they come.
Mobile email apps are particularly more susceptible since they provide less information to fit the small screen architecture. When an email gets opened, it may only show the sender’s name until the header information bar is enlarged. It is for this reason that security experts urge consumers to never click on unexpected email links.
It is why security researchers are urging us to shift back to flip phones for completing basic functions like calling or texting. And to shift control of the “smart” part of smartphones back to PCs as they are much more secure than smartphones.
That being said, smartphones susceptible to stalkerware apps for Android are at the forefront of this vulnerability.
Why are Spy Apps Especially Dangerous for Android?
Since spy apps operate in stealth mode, they are extremely hard to detect. Because of this, they do not appear in the installed applications menu or the list of running apps in the task manager. And as stalkerware apps conceal themselves, the phone owner cannot identify the app used to hack cellphones using traditional methods. Even genuine parental control apps like XNSPY get mislabeled as spyware because of how the app operates and impacts a device.
XNSPY for Android phones remotely extracts data and sends it to the parent’s account, which they can then view anytime they wasn’t as long as the app remains hidden inside the device. XNSPY can report everything going inside a child’s phone without even rooting the Android phone, thus handing over administrator-level controls to the parents. It is why the XNSPY app gets labeled as stalkerware app for Android.
Parents need to open their web browser computer by signing in to their account on the web browser and need to wait for the app to get in sync with the device. It takes one to two days for XNSPY to sync with the phone and begin automatically transferring data to their account.
As long as the monitored device remains connected to the internet, XNSPY continues to function. It can monitor popular social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. It is useful since the majority of these assaults take place on social media so kids are precarious of getting their accounts hacked through social media channels.
Parents will be less exposed to virus and ransomware attacks since they can monitor their children’s actions remotely at any time. Children will also be protected from cyberbullying, internet abuse, and stalking.
So to answer your question, how secure is an Android phone, it isn’t, but neither are iPhones.