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Malicious apps: how to avoid them?

Here are our tips.

Installing a malicious app: what are the risks?

Fake applications are a very common attack vector for hackers. They mainly allow them to :

  • steal data
  • access a user’s messages and his contact list
  • eavesdrop (and/or remotely trigger the camera)
  • track the geographical movements of the owner of the phone
  • encrypt the content of the smartphone and demand a ransom
  • display advertisements

Fraudulent apps: how to protect yourself?

While the detection mechanisms of the Google Play Store or the Apple Store are becoming increasingly sophisticated, some applications are falling through the net. Thus, even if it is still advisable to always download the desired apps from these official stores, it is still essential to read the comments before any installation. Likewise, it is better to avoid badly rated apps and avoid those without any score.

But the most important thing to protect yourself is the proper management of the given authorizations. Indeed, the user must remain in control of the content he authorizes to be shared. And apps can be greedy!

The simplest solution is to only authorize the accesses that are necessary for the application to function properly. For example, it is perfectly normal for an app like WhatsApp to use the phone owner’s contact list. A photo customization app doesn’t need to. Therefore, vigilance is required: a request for access to the most sensitive data must provoke a query from the user.

Finally, the activation of a recognized antivirus, as well as periodic and automated updates, coupled with the actions listed, should protect the phone from the most frequent threats.

Malicious applications: the right reflexes

Because a picture is worth more than a thousand words, discover our infographics about the right reflexes to have to protect yourself from malicious apps.

Apps

 

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