As the number of apps in the various app markets increases, it’s little wonder that hackers and virus developers have started looking at apps as a potential vector for virus and worm transmission. Tablet and smartphone users rarely download security apps or other programs to protect themselves, assuming that they are safe. In fact, PC World estimates that less than a tenth of all smartphone users even consider themselves to be at risk from viruses, malware, or phishing schemes. The general conception is that these devices cannot be hacked or infected, but they are actually just as vulnerable as any other device. Since apps are quite capable of transmitting viruses and malware, you need to make sure that you evaluate them before you use them.
Confirm the App Developer and Specifics
When considering the security of an app and whether it is a good one for you to be using, you should first confirm who developed it and the kind of app it is. A common tactic among hackers and virus developers is to actually create an app that looks as if it is from an official source such as a bank, a well known business, or a celebrity. You need to confirm that the app was developed by that individual or organization and the kind of app that it is. Be particularly thorough when checking out an app that will have access to your financial information.
Be Suspicious of Duplicate Apps
Not all gaming and productivity apps are as secure as they look. Poker and card games have been quite popular for virus transmission, according to Tech Crunch. The way that this particular scam works is that the scammers download the original app and then break it apart. They tweak it a little and then either modify it so that it sends files of information to the hackers or so that it uploads a virus. Fortunately, most of these hackers tend to be lazy. They don’t do much to change what the app looks like or even much of its description. If you see an app that you’re interested in but there are duplicates, then look at the one that has the most downloads and the highest ranked reviews. This app is generally the original. You may have to change your search settings to rank the apps by highest ratings or most downloads as the newest app may well be the one that was developed to transmit a virus.
Before you download an app onto your mobile device, you need to make sure that it is not going to cause problems. Virus developers and hackers like to use apps as transmissions for their own malicious programs. Your first step needs to be to confirm the app developer and specifics related to the app. You should also be suspicious of duplicate apps as these apps may be hosting the viruses and worms. Always go for the higher ranked apps when you must choose between them. This may require that you change the default search options.