Cyber Safety Advice for Parents Blog

How to identify a Fake or Malicious App and some tips to protect your device

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At present there are a considerable number of Apps available, any one of which may have the potential to cause harm, not only to your device, but also to you personally. Devices can be infected with Malware, even through Apps downloaded from an authentic App Store.This is a quick little guide to help you identify a potential Fake or Malicious App.

  • You should only install Apps from trusted services, such as iTunes App Store or the Google Play. Installing Apps from Unknown Sources are one sure way of putting your device and Personal Information at risk.

  • Always check the App publisher details. The information listed on the App can appear as it is from a genuine source, however on closer inspection there may be errors in the spelling or the design of the App logo.

  • Exercise caution if an App has a very small number of downloads, this may due to it containing malicious content.

  • Check the release date of the App. We have seen Apps information state it has been downloaded thousands of times, or  been used on other platforms for years. However when you look at the launch date of the App, it is relatively new.

  • Read the User Reviews. We can see many Apps which have a very poor ratings. Negative reviews, based on the user experience. By taking a moment to read the reviews, you may be saved from the same negative experience another downloader has had.

  • Look to see the number of times the App has been downloaded. If the App is genuine, and functions as it should, it tends to have thousands, or hundreds of thousands of downloads.

  • Always read the Permissions before installing any App. Your Personal Information is of monetary value to App developers. Information can be collected often without the App users knowledge. However when the App user discovers how vulnerable and accessible their Personal Information had become, they are surprised to discover they cave their consent when installing the App initially. Apps can look to access, Device ID, Contacts, Call logs, Location, Photos, Media, Files, Camera, Microphone and WiFi to name but a few.

  • If it seems too good to be true, it nearly always is. Apps can offer discounts on products, information on completing games, or perhaps offer a selection of filters for photo sharing Apps. Always check that the App developers are a reputable company. It can be very easy to provide Credit Card details to purchase some thing that appears to be a bargain.

  • Watch out for spoillling mistookes (Spelling Mistakes ;-)). This can be a really easy way to identify a dodgy App. You may also notice mistakes in the grammar of the description text.

These are just a few quick tips. If you would like to add your own, or tell us your experience if your fell victim to a Malicious App, leave us a comment.

Team @COTDAge

 

 

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