There are millions of apps to choose from, but how can you tell if they’re safe?
We hear about an increasing number of virus and malware-laden apps being used by hackers for all sorts of nefarious activities.
Just this week we reported on cyber crooks using a sneaky method to prevent millions of Android victims from removing their virus-infected apps.
They were all on the Google Play Store until experts revealed them.
So what should you look out for when downloading an app?
Adrianus Warmenhoven, cybersecurity expert at NordVPN, shares some useful tips.
Check the reviews
Further down the page you can see app feedback that can be very useful.
“It sounds obvious, but users monitor the apps they use all the time and aren’t afraid to alert others if they find problems,” explains Warmenhoven.
How many downloads did it have?
Claims about big numbers when the app is brand new can also be a red flag of sorts.
“There have been cases where the download numbers have been manipulated by scammers, so if an app claims millions of downloads but has only been out for a few days, you should definitely take a look,” reveals the expert.
See the permissions
Developers must specify exactly what things they need to access on your phone in the Google Play Store description in order to work.
If it needs any weird permissions, that could be a bad sign.
“Be careful when an app asks for permissions it doesn’t need,” warns Warmenhoven.
“No flashlight app needs to know your location.”
He adds: “For added protection, use a virtual private network so all internet traffic from your phone and computer is encrypted and secure.”
The Google Play Store app description also states who created the app.
Is it a name you know and trust?
You can click on the name and it will show you all the other apps they have made. Check them out and see if there have been any complaints about them in the reviews.
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https://www.the-sun.com/tech/5947712/signs-dangerous-apps-android-google-play-store/ Hack Warning: Four warning signs to look out for when downloading apps