What Are Malicious Apps?
Malicious apps are a method of manipulating users into downloading malware that allows cybercriminals to steal personal information, including login credentials or payment information. It’s also possible that they can even take control of a user’s device.
Malicious apps are often found in third-party stores. As a rule of thumb, never use them. But third-party stores aren’t the only place where malicious apps are found. The official Apple and Google Play stores are safer than a third-party store, but even they can have infected apps that are listed.
Tips For Avoiding Malicious Apps
Malicious apps found in official app stores are often disguised with the use of names, images, or descriptions similar to popular or malware-free apps. They may even create fake reviews to help increase the malicious app’s rating and make them look more realistic. Some malicious apps have even been programmed to lie dormant until certain conditions are met.
Updating apps containing these sleeping viruses can infect your device, even if the app was originally downloaded months prior.
What Are the Signs Your Device May Have a Malicious App Installed?
- Be aware of persistent pop-up ads
- Look for an unauthorized apps that have suddenly been installed
- Your batter draining more rapidly than usual
- Your device slows down while processing a request
How to Combat Malicious Apps?
- Always check the app’s developers and reviews
- Restrict permissions when necessary. For example: games on your phone may not necessarily need to know your location. Don’t allow this option.
- Uninstall apps that you don’t use.
- Only download apps from reputable developers and keep an eye out for mentions of scams or malicious activity mentioned in reviews by other users.