Android Anti-Phishing Protection

Discussion in 'mobile device security' started by jaypeecee, Aug 26, 2020.

  1. jaypeecee

    jaypeecee Registered Member

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    Hi Folks,

    I'm trying to get my head around how to protect Android devices from phishing attempts. As I see it, we can't completely rely on ISPs, email providers, etc. to filter out dodgy links in emails. That being the case, what about email clients such as Outlook, Yahoo Mail, etc? Do they do a 100% job of blocking phishing emails? And, then, what about the browsers - which of these scan links before opening them? Can anyone help me understand this threat vector?

    It's no longer easy to spot all dodgy emails. Clues like spelling mistakes and bad grammar are no longer reliable indicators. It's a bit of a lottery.

    If this topic has already been covered here on Wilders, please point me in the right direction(s).

    Thanks in advance.

    JPC
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2020
  2. reasonablePrivacy

    reasonablePrivacy Registered Member

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    Nothing gives you 100% malware protection and nothing gives you 100% phishing protection. Actually it is even harder to provide good quality phishing protection than malware protection.
    There are blocklist for emerging phishing attacks. One easy way is to use Quad9 or OpenDNS as these DNS services offer some protection, however they are far from being bulletproof.
    IMHO blocklists are good at reducing amount of phishing e-mails, but the final and best protection is your brain. Educate yourself and others about phishing, so you can distinguish it from legitimate e-mails.
     
  3. Brummelchen

    Brummelchen Registered Member

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    I run Adguard Premium*, at first to defeat unwanted web access and if to filter ads. It works that far. But I really miss an email client or preview with a decent spam filter like mailwasher (pro, Windows) has.

    For email, I use TypeApp because its one of the few apps which offer POP, most of them only offer IMAP. Finally, I mark emails as spam which are unwanted on my android or I like to read on (a/) my desktop.

    Next is that I don't use any microsoft service or app, its too much spying on me, google is enough ;)
    I prefer independent software, in most cases it's free, but if paid it has reason to be paid.

    As written before there exists no 100% security, you need to control it yourself, either with a self learning software or with manually settings (like TypeApp).

    For email its important that it offers a text-only preview, not html, and pictures to load on demand.

    * Adguard Premium offers DNS service and options to set any you like, and it filters ads. Phishing links in browsers are caught by ublock origin.

    Hey, a smartphone or tablet is also a computer, only smaller ;)
     
  4. jaypeecee

    jaypeecee Registered Member

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    Hi @reasonablePrivacy

    I realize that 100% of anything is pretty much impossible to achieve. But, had I suggested 99% protection, someone was sure to say that wasn't good enough. Having said that, I am always cautious when clicking on any email links. I am presently drawn to FairEmail. The developer of this app, Marcel Bokhorst is known for excellent Android apps such as NetGuard. According to his app description, FairEmail will "Reformat messages to prevent phishing" - whatever that means. I'm looking for an email client that will handle a range of email providers. I don't believe ProtonMail, for example, would do this.

    Do you happen to know if the browser, Vivaldi, has integral anti-phishing?

    JPC
     
  5. jaypeecee

    jaypeecee Registered Member

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    Thanks for your reply.

    Your piece of advice above is something I shall take on board.

    JPC
     
  6. reasonablePrivacy

    reasonablePrivacy Registered Member

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    These filters are good enough to filter most spam messages, but not enough to filter most phishing e-mails/webpages. Most phishing messages target specific population or sometimes even specific individual instead of spam's tactic that is general public mass sent e-mail.
    Vivaldi integrates The Safe Browsing API by Google [1], so at least it has some minimum anti-phishing measures. Additional measures may be done at DNS-level. Anyway education is a key protection. Take a look at this quiz [2].

    [1] https://help.vivaldi.com/article/privacy-settings/
    [2] https://phishingquiz.withgoogle.com/
     
  7. Brummelchen

    Brummelchen Registered Member

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    If Vivaldi for Android is same coded as the desktop build this feature could make you headaches. I remember an issue here which was resolved because it only happened to Vivaldi. I prefer clean browsers which means firefox or chrome. (chromium is no option as it lacks features in comparison to chrome)
     
  8. reasonablePrivacy

    reasonablePrivacy Registered Member

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    What do you mean by "clean browsers"?
    Anyway Safe Browsing can be disabled in Vivaldi. I didn't look into Vivaldi's protection, because it is only a secondary-browser for me.
     
  9. jaypeecee

    jaypeecee Registered Member

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    Hi @reasonablePrivacy

    I think you'll find that The Safe Browsing API is not integrated into Vivaldi for Android. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Today, I started using FairEmail and it looks very promising. If you're interested, here it is:

    https://email.faircode.eu

    JPC
     
  10. jaypeecee

    jaypeecee Registered Member

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    Hi @reasonablePrivacy

    May I ask - what is your preferred browser on Android?

    JPC
     
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