Every operating system have different pros and cons security it's security approach, some provide standard security by default and other are able to reach a high level of security based on their configuration.
When comes to security, there are a number of factors that must be considered since each of these factors can be used as an individual gateway to your smartphone data.
Every operating system have their pros and cons when comes to mobile security, but the matter of security is a priority for each one of them. Having said that, the two most important factors that affect an operating system's security is the number of users and the accessibility allowed (third-party applications).
Pros: Android operating system is highly configurable giving the user full control of their privacy. It is a powerful operating system given that the user implements a series of best practices and have some basic awareness.
Cons: Easier procedure for submitting an app into Google Play Store therefor there is less screening. In addition, Android is the most commonly used OS making it a go-to target for malicious actors.
Pros: Strong out of the box security. Using specific apple controlled certificates and extensive application screening prior release, Apple provides strong out of the box security.
Cons: Even though Apple is emphasizing their product's security through policies and have achieved a very high level of security, some of their technologies have been found to have security flaws aswell. This is expected since no system can be fully secure.
Pros: Windows operating system provides strong device encryption techniques. Furthermore, Windows holds a small market share compared to Android and iOS which make it less desired as a target.
Cons: Windows have a small amount of vulnerabilities (highly secured) which can be linked on the operating system's reduced features. It is given that the more users are invested in the operating system, the more features will be released and thus creating more vulnerabilities.
The idea of keeping your phone on you at all times is more or less a given for everyone but there is one more thing that we need to keep in mind when using our mobile phones in public. It is called "shoulder surfing", a type of social engineering attack where the attacker is looking over the shoulder of the victim when using his smartphone to see and acquire as many information as possible. These information can be from PINS and passcodes to personal information and bank details. Always be aware of your surroundings when accessing sensitive data on your phone.
Some android smartphones provide the ability to encrypt folders (password protected to decrypt) so the users can add an extra layer of security on their sensitive data. To activate this, you can search with the word "encryption" on the setting's search bar.
The device passcode is the first line of defense against system compromisation. The latest smartphone technology allows the users to choose between several device locking mechanisms. It is strongly advised to use one of the more complex mechanisms such as pattern, fingerprint or a complex passcode rather than a PIN or face recognition. The face recognition mechanism can provide good protection when implemented properly by the mobile company, but there are reports of smartphones being unlocked using the user's picture. Therefore it is not advised to use this mechanism unless a thorough research has been made about the brand's system reliability. Lastly, in the case of a passcode make sure you use a collection of seemingly shuffled characters rather than a meaningful phrase that can be guessed.
A badly secured app can act as a bottleneck for your mobile security even if the operating system has strong security configurations. Therefore you should avoid downloading apps from unknown third parties (other than Apple, Google Play, or Microsoft stores) and you should always read the reviews of the app whatever the source is.
Two-factor authentication is a process that requires the user to use two individual methods or end points in order to authenticate the login to a service. For example, you can set a mobile phone number for an email service. In this case, the user will have to both login on their email account and click on the prompt text message to gain access.
Similar to a computer machine, it is very important to keep you smartphone up to date in order to utilize it's full capabilities.
What is rooting:
Rooting is a process that allows a user to plunge deeper into a phone’s operating system and modify almost anything on the Android. It provides the user with administrative privileges on the operating system. When the user purchases a new Android device, the user is more of a guest user. In order to make changes and amendments to the system and system files, the user must become the administrator. This can be achieved through rooting.
-Modification of your device-
When a user roots his device, the performance of the device is automatically enhanced. The user can delete apps, thus creating the much-needed space on his mobile. These apps do not have the uninstall feature through the manufacturer. Hence, rooting is required in order to rid such ‘bloatware’ from the device. Even if a user wishes to add additional features in order to streamline or enhance the performance of his device, he can do so simply by rooting his Android device.
-Creating essential back-ups-
Rooting helps in not just creating a back-up for important data on your phone, but also aids in creating a back-up for applications and settings. Users also tend to take complete back-ups of the operating system.
Manufacturers tend to offer device bundles that come along with various manufacturer specific themes and tones. The user can only alter these to a certain extent. By rooting, the user can even customize the device according to options provided by other companies.
Open source enthusiasts crave more and more apps and download. With the several apps stores and distributors available, users have the freedom to download as much as they please through rooting their device.
-Updating new features and OS-
Manufacturers produce newer and better devices all the time. But what they do not provide the older devices with, are the updates that are introduced in the newer devices. Via rooting, users have the ability to install new features and operating systems.
-Internal Storage Facilities-
Not all users have huge amounts of internal memory on the devices. It gets difficult to move in-built applications to the SD card when the applications are provided by the manufacturers. By rooting your Android device, a user can move any app onto his SD card, thus creating additional space in his phone memory.
Even phones get viruses. A common practice with rooted phones is to flash ROMs with custom programs. When an app or ROM is installed from an unreputable source, there's a risk of installing a malicious program.
-Potential of Software damage-
The process of rooting may take a shorter time or longer time, based on the device. At times, this could also lead to some serious software damage. If the user is not sure about having the device rooted, the user should refrain from trying.
Most countries all over the world allow rooting your Android device. However, there are certain European countries that disallow changing the original operating system. This voids the warranty on the hardware.
-Voiding your Warranty-
Some users aren’t aware that manufacturers use rooting as a pretext to annul your warranty. There is a way to avoid this happening. All you have to do is flash the original backup ROM prepared by you, and this will conceal the fact from the manufacturers that your device was rooted.
-Breach of Security-
When a user completes rooting his device, he allows applications to perform activities that require administrative rights. Android’s performance has not been tarnished by viruses and other digital bugs. But knowing the amount of anti-social elements present everywhere, it wouldn’t be long before this security is breached.