Keep Malware Out of Smartphones and Tablets

August 27, 2018

#Smartphone and tablet users can easily find non-official apps online that promise much but end up delivering all sorts of malicious malware.

 

These apps are NOT monitored by Apple or Google, therefore the only rule their creators have to follow is to seduce as many users as possible with something they know is desired - trend awareness means they keep developing new and 'exciting' apps...

 

When the app is finally downloaded and installed, the chaos that soon follows can vary from thousands of messages sent to expensive numbers, to simply making the smartphone / tablet useless if the user doesn't pay a ransom fee!

 

A good rule of thumb is to never install anything that didn't come from the official #app marketplaces like the App Store or Google Play.

 

However, there are known cases where some malicious apps have managed to bypass the #vetting process that makes the official OS-related marketplaces a safe zone. This is especially a problem for #gaming apps.

 

The sheer volume of apps available, together with the large volume of new apps being submitted, and the excessive amount of updates to the existing apps means that these official marketplaces have to deal with millions of lines of code every day. It just isn't feasible to go through each line of code! Malware developers take advantage of this scenario, while also improving the way they mask the malicious code.

 

Most app users do avoid unofficial apps but don't care enough about the permissions the 'official' app asks for, instantly accepting them without questioning themselves as to why a game needs access to their personal documents or photos!?

 

Popular games are often cloned to trick users into downloading a malicious version.  #Keywords that mimic the popular game and similar art styles trick users into thinking that it is an extension or sequel to the original game. An app that was meant for free-time entertainment can be stealing information from business emails or documents!

 

The 'freemium' model of apps has been a #success. However, the user pays for them each time he uses it, mostly through adverts that can trigger the (younger) user to go to a malicious third party location and download malware. Upgrading to a paid version of a game or music app often eliminates ads altogether, lessening the risk of malware infection.

 

Finally, everyone should mind the ratings. The large number of positive ratings could be fake, but the (small) number of very critical ratings should always be read, as they may contain legitimate complaints and act as warnings.

 

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