In today’s mobile society, there is an app for everything! There are apps for business use, banking, shopping, fitness and gaming. There’s an app to enable you to control your IoT devices. Although apps can add to the convenience of our every day lives, it is important to know that they can also lead to problems.
It can be difficult to figure out if an app is malicious. You should only download apps from well-vetted resources such as Google Play Store or Apple Store. And even then, sometimes a malware campaign can slip into the store. Reporting these apps to Google or Apple usually results in swift takedown actions, but that can be well after the malware has had a chance to infect thousands of users.
What can you do?
- First, only install applications from well-known resources such as Play and Apple/iTunes. Most malware is mainly spread by using alternative, third-party stores.
- Check the reviews of the app. If the reviews are unfavorable, steer away!
- The number of users or downloads of an app are also indications of the app having a long, credible history.
- Keep the app updated and patched. Most reputable apps will roll out occasional updates. Many times these are security-related updates.
- Keep your device and operating system up to date and patched.
- Don’t use the same password for every app and enable two-factor authentication.
- When installing an app, don’t allow the app to have access to resources (such as photos and contacts) that are not necessary to run the application.
- Don’t give the app permission to act as the device administrator. With this permission it can prevent you from removing it.
- Keep a backup of your device.
If you have already been infected, your best chance for recovery is to perform a factory reset and restore from your backup.