The focus on online security is seeing a shift from desktop and laptop antivirus and there is an increasing demand for smartphone, tablet and app security. Google removed over 50,000 ‘bad’ apps from their store this year.
Follow the advice below to ensure your smartphone and tablet stay safe.
You’ve had your eye on a certain app for a while, but it’s not due for release for a couple more weeks, then suddenly it’s available in an app store … great! Probably not so. The chances are a fake app has been created to lure unsuspecting users to download. Wait until the official release date and even then check thoroughly by using a link from the genuine website.
Free versions of popular apps
Why would a developer offer a popular app for free as well as charging for it? Be wary of free versions of popular apps, these can often have the same features as the real app but underlying there may be some malicious code or clause in the T&Cs that mean the creator has access to your personal data.
Use authorised stores only
Stick to stores you trust. Google Play and Amazon App Store, although they can still contain vulnerable apps, the chances of downloading an infected app is much higher than downloading from an unknown site.
Apps within apps
You might purchase an authorised app from the Play store, but be cautious of downloads within those apps, they won’t have had the same security checks as the original app and could contain malicious files.
When you install an app, don’t skip passed the permissions. Apps can request access to text messages, other apps and more. If a simple app is requesting access to all sorts of information then don’t install, find a genuine alternative.
5 Stars doesn’t mean it’s safe
Ensure you read the reviews to go with this high rating, some spam app creators can force users to give ratings before downloading. The reviews will show the true tune of the users.
Use Google’s ‘ Verify apps’ service
A service available from Android 4.2 onwards, it warns if an app you’ve downloaded might be dangerous. Enable this feature by going to Settings>Security>Warning App.