‘Tis the season for gift giving, and who wouldn’t be excited about receiving a brand new mobile device! Before you start loading your new device with various apps, here’s a few safe practices to make sure your holidays stay malware-free:

1. Install apps from safe locations, most notability from the Google Play Store.

Google Play is the safest place by far to install Android apps.

Now I know what some of you are thinking: You wanted an Android device because you’re not restricted to just one app store.

If you must install elsewhere, make sure you do your research and install from highly-rated app stores that have security measures in place to keep it clean from malicious apps.

Many apps can also be installed from the app’s company website. Once again, do your research about the company and its apps before installing.

2. Check permissions of apps before installing.

This is especially true if you are installing from third-party app markets. Do the permissions seem fitting for what the app needs to function? If that wallpaper app of cute kittens has SMS permissions, you may want to think twice.

3. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

It goes back to the old saying “you get what you pay for”.

There are many popular apps on Google Play for free, but it’s under the agreement that you will have to view advertisements in order to use them. If you’re okay with that, then install away.

Many of these popular apps can also be found on third-party app markets, but be aware that there are shady app markets with apps that contain more than just advertisements.

If you really want a safe and ad-free app, it might just be worth paying the 99 cents and avoid all the hassle.

4. Protect yourself with a good malware scanner, like Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Mobile.

Call it a shameless plug if you like, but the reality is that malware is becoming more prevalent on mobile devices.

Even with being cautious, malware infections do happen. It’s best to have a layer of protection to stay safe out there. You can find our Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Mobile app on Google Play. And guess what, it’s free of cost and advertisements!

Don’t let the bad guys ruin your fun. Follow these simple tips and keep your Android device safe from infection.

Nathan Collier