Protect Yourself from Malicious Apps
Jackie here. One of our ID theft predictions for this year is a rise in mobile malware. One big way that malware infects mobile devices is through apps. The best way to protect yourself from this threat during 2015 is to carefully choose the apps you install. Which apps are safe? Here are some tips for choosing the safest apps for your device.
Shop the App Stores
Where you find your apps has a big impact on their potential for being malicious. Both Apple’s app store and Google Play screen apps looking for malicious software before offering them to consumers. Should a malicious app make it through the screening process, it will likely be removed shortly after problems start arising. Shopping in the official app store for your device is one of the easiest and most effective ways to dramatically cut down on malicious apps.
Use Tools to Find Malicious Software
Android users that choose to install apps outside of Google Play do have options for screening malicious apps. The feature is called app verification and can be turned on through the “Security” section of the “Settings” app. To enable app verification, switch “Scan device for security threats” to “On”. App verification will warn you before installing apps outside of Google Play, block known malicious apps from being installed, remove some harmful apps, and recommend uninstalling apps that might be harmful to your computer. This feature can help you find and detect malicious apps earlier and will alert you to potentially harmful apps that you may already have on your phone.
Third party app stores aren’t really a problem for Apple devices, but you’ll want to use caution should you ever install a custom enterprise app. These apps are typically created by companies to provide employees, etc. with custom tools. Use extreme caution when installing this type of app and only install them from your organization’s secure website.
Check Your Apps Often
Finally, check your apps often. Remove any apps you are no longer using. Before installing a new app, make sure you are aware of what information the app will be gathering and how your information will be used and stored. It’s a good idea to recheck this information periodically as policies can change.
Protect yourself from malicious apps this year on all of your devices. A little caution now can save you from potential headaches down the road.