DO NOT ignore the “red flags” that could save you from an Android cyber disaster.
Cyber experts have revealed warning signs Android phone owners need to be aware of when downloading apps.
You may think it’s safe to get apps from Google Play Store.
But dubious apps are often found in the Android app store – and could get you scammed, hacked, or financially ruined.
We spoke to cybersecurity expert Grant Wyatt to find out what to look out for.
Grant, who is COO of cyber company MIRACL, gave The sun Seven tips for using Android apps safely.
#1 – Check the downloads
“The number one rule when downloading popular apps from the Google Play Store is to check the number of downloads,” Grant told The Sun.
“If you’re about to download an extremely popular app but the number of downloads seems low, it’s probably fake.”
#2 – Shady Permissions?
“Probably the most important thing is the PERMISSIONS that the app needs,” Grant explained.
“Are they suitable for the app? Look specifically for apps that need access to your contact list or permission to send text messages, for example.
“Think about it, does the app really need these permissions? You must use your judgment.
“Mistake here can be really harmful, apps with network permission can ‘sniff’ all data you send and apps with keyboard permissions can ‘sniff’ all passwords you type – avoid downloading apps that require them.” .”
#3 – Read the description
“Read the product description too,” Grant told us.
“If the description is in broken English, looks ‘bot-like’, or is formatted in an odd way, it’s probably fake.
“While looking at the product description, also look at the pictures. Is there anything strange about it?
“Are they blurry or does the language seem wrong? If so, it’s probably fake.”
#4 – Who made it?
Grant warned: “Especially with financial apps, you should also look closely at the developer of the app.
“Make sure the developer is a legitimate financial institution.
“If the developer’s name has nothing to do with your bank, it’s probably a fake.”
#5 – Use Reports!
“If you come across a fake app, you should report it,” Grant told The Sun.
“Just scroll to the bottom of the page and click ‘Report as inappropriate’.
“From there, you just fill out a form highlighting your suspicion that the developer is up to no good, and Google will take it from there.”
#6 – Don’t be afraid to erase
“If you accidentally download a fake app, delete it immediately,” Grant advised.
“If you don’t see the icon on your screen, which is often the case with data collection applications, go to your application settings and delete it from there.
“However, simply deleting the app does not mean that you are no longer infected.
“You need to run antivirus software on your device to make sure the malware is really gone.
“You should also clear all junk files on your phone to remove any trace of the malware.”
#7 – Ban your accounts
“Finally, you should change all your passwords and consider implementing multi-factor authentication wherever possible,” Grant recommended.
“Implementing MFA ensures that if you fall victim to a fake app again, the cybercriminal behind it won’t be able to access your account.
“The best providers enable one-step MFA, giving you all the protection of a traditional MFA but without the hassle of SMS or email codes.”
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9718552/android-download-app-google-play-store-safe/ I’m a techie – never ignore these Android “red flags” or it could cost you