Rooted and modified phones offer many benefits over factory standard handsets, but there are risks involved in altering your device. The main issue is the possibility that you’ll allow access to malware or make it easier for fraudsters to access the sensitive data held on your phone. There’s also the risk of getting the process wrong and deleting system files, in which case you could end up with a brick. These risks are well-known, but how can you reduce the likelihood of anything going wrong with your phone?
Redesigning your phone
Rooting gives you superuser access and enables you to have complete control over all your phone’s functions, installing apps of your choice and changing settings to suit your needs. Another way to redesign the way your phone works is to make adjustments to the PCB that controls all the functions. You should only attempt this if you have some knowledge of printed circuit board design and construction, and of course the same caveats apply to altering the PCB as they do to rooting; but if you use a cost-effective professional PCB software package, such as Altium CircuitStudio, you could end up with a custom handset that fulfills your every need.
Restoring security protection
Rooted or modified phones can be at increased risk of malicious software attacks because the act of modification overrides several important security measures. To compensate for the effect of modifying the phone, install one of the after-market security apps specially designed for rooted Android phones onto your device. This will restore, and in some cases surpass, the original protection you had with the factory settings.
Superuser access management tools can also help with security by acting as gatekeepers to keep out malware and ensure your system isn’t accessed by anyone who doesn’t have your permission. For example, once the app is installed, it can alert you to any request for root level access, and you’ll need to confirm or deny access privileges. Then all you have to do is deny access to anything that could be suspicious.
Installing a firewall
Just as you have firewall protection on your laptop or work PC, you can install an Android firewall to protect your handset when you’re using the Internet. The firewall acts as a barrier between your device and any incoming connection, only permitting access to approved sources. You set up the permissions when you install the firewall, and you can create different rules for the different Internet access types, e.g., LAN, WiFi or 3G.
You should back up your phone before and after you undertake any rooting or redesign exercise. If you repeat an action regularly over a period of time, it becomes a habit, and you no longer have to concentrate on what you’re doing. If you make an effort to back up your data regularly, you’ll be in a far better position should anything happen to your modified phone. Making modifications isn’t without its risks, but if you carry out the process carefully and boost your security afterwards, you’ll be minimizing the possibility of anything going wrong.