by Dan Lowe, on 14 October 2013
Often times you may not want the wireless provider and/or handset manufacturer to limit control over the device.
Often times you may not want the wireless provider and/or handset manufacturer to limit control over the device. Rooting is the process of giving yourself root permission or privilege control over your Android device or subsystem. There are many advantages and disadvantages for changing your mobile phone configuration.
For example: I want to share mobile phone internet connection with my laptop so I can continue my research when I am at a park where there is no wireless network. In order to do this, I would pay a monthly fee to my wireless provider and use the tether feature which serves as a hub that allows me to grant wireless internet access to devices that are close to me. To overcome this limitation, I would go to a developer or Android forum or wiki page to get instructions to root my phone. Once I follow their instructions, now I can load software that allows me to freely share my 3g or 4g mobile data with my laptop. Though I believe this service should be free, my provider wants to charge me to use this service. I do not recommend rooting because it will void your warranty and/or brick your phone. Bricking your phone means that doing this can screw up your system so bad that your phone will not function properly and might as well use it as a brick.
The example above shows you just one of the reasons why people would want to root their mobile device. The problems are that it can brick your device and you will end up purchasing a brand new device because you have voided the warranty. There is a security risk of not knowing whether the software that you are downloading is malware. Because root access goes around the security restrictions originally set-up on the device, there is no way of telling whether the application you are downloading is going to do what it mentions on the website or application description. You have to implicitly trust the publisher.
There are different antivirus solutions that scan the application before you install it into your mobile device and I recommend installing an antivirus program within your device. There are free antivirus solutions, just go to Google Play store and look up your antivirus within the security section. I do recommend also using an antivirus program that has some URL filtering or web security capabilities as this can prevent you from going to a malicious site if you use your browser to search for additional Android applications that are not listed in Google Play.
There are reputable resources that test the detection capabilities against other mobile antivirus products like AV Comparatives or AV-Test to name a couple. Beware of sources that use an author who is still in college does not adequately test the product. He or she rather look at opinions then write an article based on a certain viewpoint without statistical evidence to back-up their claim.
Dan Lowe, an OEM Senior Marketing Manager, has been working with Bitdefender for the last 3 ½ years. His familiarity with multiple security products from Firewalls to Antivirus has provided him a unique perspective on the security industry.