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Android More Secure Than iPhone, Says Google Chairman

Smartphones are an integral part of our lives and they have access to all kinds of sensitive data. As such, the issue of smartphone security is a growing concern among users. Is my data safe? Am I vulnerable because of my device's ecosystem? Well, if you're trying to decide on Android or iPhone, Eric Schmidt says the former is more secure.

Of course, Schmidt, a long time Googler, is somewhat biased, but it's a bold statement nonetheless. ZDNet reports that Google's chairman on Monday told attendees at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo that Android was more secure than the iPhone. This statement was made in response to Gartner Analyst David Willis's point that many people believe Android is not secure. 

"Not secure? It's more secure than the iPhone," Schmidt is quoted as saying.

Though he didn't go into much detail, Schmidt said that with over a billion users, the Android platform goes through rigorous real-world security testing. Of course, such a wide userbase means Android is an attractive target for cyber criminals (where users are or aren't users aren't downloading the malware). In August, a report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security revealed that malicious hackers have designed 79 percent of all mobile malware to target Android systems. Rather surprisingly, iOS wasn't in second place, despite its popularity. Instead, the second most targeted system was Symbian.

Regardless of the platform you use, there are certain ways you can keep your data safe. For one, you should keep WiFi and Bluetooth turned off unless you're using them. You should also install a mobile security suite. Our own Marshall Honorof cites chief technology officer of AVG Technologies, Yuval Ben-Itzhak, as saying customers should also uninstall social networking applications. The HTML versions are easier on your battery and more secure.

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  • stevejnb
    Maybe true, in a vacuum... But this article confirms what I suspected. Even if iOS is more vulnerable in theory, there are far, far more people interested in attacking Android simply because far, far more people use it. Why chase a turkey when you could nab the goose that lays the golden egg? Beside that anyways, I'm not sure I trust the Google Chairman to accurately describe the relative security of his platform VS others.
    Reply
  • michael908
    I personally believe that IOS is safer than android, just because of how restrictive it is. But Andorid is vastly superior than IOS as an operating system as a whole. Andorid is just like a computer don't go to sketchy sites, use unsecured wifi networks for personal data, download apps from third party sites that are not safe, etc. Common sense goes a lot further than being in constant lockdown.
    Reply
  • Lachezar Tsochev
    Erm... errr ... o.O I think he has lost it :U
    It was not long ago when iOS controlled almost the whole smartphone industry. Yet ...there were no malware or scam apps in ios app store, unlike Google Play. Some people see Apple's app policy as too harsh but I think it's okay. At least I don't second guess myself when I download an app :)
    Reply
  • Vorador2
    Apple can issue security updates to all phones, while Android might get them....when the carrier or maker of your phone feels like it.

    Just that makes Android much less secure.
    Reply
  • bombebomb
    Hmm, I'm a big android fan but it's hard to keep the gates shut when freedom runs the place.
    Reply
  • d_kuhn
    It's like the Windows vs. Apple debate's of years past (where I was firmly in the Windows camp)... but I'm not so sure the conclusion is as accurate for Apple vs. Android. When we all felt that "Security through obscurity" was what kept osx safe, apple had something like 3.5% of the PC market (obscure for sure). iOS has a substantial chunk of the smartphone market, so I wouldn't say it's particularly obscure. I think that Android is a lot like Windows however... both are open platforms that feel a bit like the wild west - and where you're expected to know enough to keep yourself safe. For me it was well worth the work to have the many advantages of windows, not so much for android... I just want my phone to work and if I've got anything complex to do I do it on a tablet, laptop, or desktop. I started with apple (iPhones up to 4) tried android (razr maxx hd) and switched back to apple recently (5)... but I can certainly understand the android love from those who like to customize their smartphones.
    Reply
  • popatim
    You just gotta love when someone drops a blanket statement like that in your lap ... and then qualifies it with: after you install a Security Suite and uninstall all your social apps...

    Dear Mr Chairman; Please seek professional counselling. You are living in some fantasy world.
    Reply
  • slomo4sho
    Both platforms have near worthless security and the user is deprived of any and all privacy using either device.
    Reply
  • stevejnb
    11680632 said:
    Both platforms have near worthless security and the user is deprived of any and all privacy using either device.

    Curious, what kind of phone do you use?
    Reply
  • slomo4sho
    11680774 said:
    Curious, what kind of phone do you use?

    An unlocked Nexus 4 with aftermarket firewall and antivirus software. Still looking for an alternative :pt1cable:
    Reply