Supposedly, you’re safe if you only download apps from trusted sources. Ask recent victims of the numerous malware apps that are plaguing the Google Play Store and they might tell you mobile safety is just a myth. With the latest attack on Android users, Camara Vision Nocturna, malware developers have proven just how advanced and tricky these scams truly are.
The Latest Threat
The free app poses as a legitimate camera app allowing users to take amazing photos at night without a flash. It doesn’t even have pesky ad banners. However, when you get your bill, you discover the app has stolen numbers from other apps, such as the popular messaging app WhatsApp, and subscribed them to a messaging service.
The initial fee is only $2.80, but messages are continuously sent, adding up to $50 or more per month. By the time you realize what’s happening, it’s too late. While this latest malware is according to reports by AVAST, it does prove that you should be careful what you download.
Protect With Anti-Virus
Many mobile users still use their phones and tablets without any protection. Any device that connects to the Internet could become infected with spyware, malware and other viruses. Before doing anything on your phone, download a reputable anti-virus app. However, Panda, makers of Panda Mobile Security, states malware changes so quickly that anti-virus may not be able to detect it until you’re device is already infected.
Top Steps For Staying Safe
Even though the major app stores aren’t completely safe from viruses, you do drastically limit your chances of downloading an infected app. Unless you fully trust the app developer, only shop through major stores that constantly scan for virus, such as: Apple’s App Store, Google Play Store and Amazon App Store.
Before you download any app, carefully review required permissions. In the case of Camara Vision Nocturna, a camera app shouldn’t need access to phone numbers or accounts on your device. If there are any permissions you question, a different app might be best.
Scroll through several pages of review before downloading. If the app is infected, odds are, someone will report it. Sometimes having to download the latest apps first isn’t a good thing. Wait a week or two to see exactly how it affects other mobile devices.
Research the app. Do a quick search on Yahoo, Bing or Google to see what others think and to find official reviews from mobile app review sites. Usually, you’ll be able to tell if a virus exists in an app within the first two months.
Finally, don’t connect your credit card to any app store. Yes, it’s a pain to purchase apps manually every time, but do you really want malware grabbing your card information and maxing out your card? Instead, use gift cards. Thieves can only steal so much and it’s still easy to buy apps with a single click.
You don’t have to become a victim. Be cautious when downloading mobile apps and always pay close attention to the latest reports of malware in your favorite app stores.