I’m not exactly sure where this comes from, and I’m not exactly sure what “security” means to a particular individual, what I assume most people mean is, “is my device going to get infected and send confidential information to some hacker somewhere is Kazikistan?” I think a lot of people naturally assume that the iPhone is “more secure” than Android, but really, the device, whether it’s an iPhone or Android, is only as secure as the person using it.
In a general sense, Android is “less secure” since Google Play store doesn’t have the full vetting process that Apple requires. Essentially, every app submitted to Google Play gets set for sale. In Apple’s app process, developer submit their applications to the iTunes store, and Apple’s team thoroughly reviews each app for malicious tendencies.
In truth, Google took a huge hit because of some malware issues in recent months, so Google took some proactive attempts to vet Google Play of potentially hazardous apps. This action has reduced the number of malware problems. What’s more, Android’s most recent version, Jelly Bean, looks to be the most secure OS to date.
I’ve talked security on a number of occassions, and even suggested some strong rules for Android lawyers. One of the fundamental security aspects of Android is that each application has a limited set of permissions. These permissions are the resources or parts of the Android OS the app is able to access. Without permission to access GPS, the app cannot use that particular function. Unfortunately, developers are adding more permissions to their applications, so it’s important to check the permissions of the app you’re installing.
Here’s a link to a great post that talks security and compares Android OS and Apple iOS. You’ll note that neither wins high marks, and the author suggests enterprise features that will separate consumer use from business use.
Since neither platform is truly “secure,” it’s important to determine what features you need, and how you can use them. All android users should have an antivirus program, such as my favorite, Lookout Mobile Security, and I suggest adding Seal, which adds a second layer of protection to particular apps you choose to “seal”. A premium subscription to Lookout ($29.99 per year) features remote lock and device wipe, if your phone or tablet is ever lost or stolen.