How to Protect Your Smartphone From Malicious Apps
- Oct 09, 2022
Google Play and App Store are the two largest marketplaces where you can find games and apps for every taste. Even though moderators carefully monitor the posted products, there are still ways that scammers can get to your smartphone. In this article, we will tell you how to protect yourself as much as possible and what to look for when downloading applications.
Signs of Device Infection
Let’s first talk about how to understand that your device has malware installed. There are several symptoms:
- increased battery consumption;
- a sharp decrease in free space in memory;
- unusual pop-ups, ads, and banners;
- overheating of the device and battery.
Although these symptoms may be related to the features of a new application that you recently installed, in most cases, they can indicate the presence of a virus. If you find several of the described symptoms, you should run a scan of your device using a mobile antivirus.
How to Protect Your Smartphone
A few simple rules will help you avoid scammers and malware installations on your devices.
1. Use branded stores
Do not download games and apps from third-party resources (this rule is especially important for Android devices). No guarantee that published titles are verified on such marketplaces. In turn, stores for iOS and Android strive to provide maximum protection for their customers. Also, do not root your smartphone so as not to violate the device’s integrity and not expose yourself to the risk of being hacked.
2. Read product descriptions
Read descriptions carefully before installing any applications. Although moderators do checks regularly, due to the huge number of titles, they still can overlook something. Here’s what to look out for:
- extra characters in titles and developers/publishers’ names;
- version history that has not been updated for a long time and/or info with grammatical errors;
- too general or vague descriptions;
- a huge number of downloads or reviews of new products;
- typos in reviews and responses of developers;
- the abundance of keywords in text listings;
- lack of detailed payment information.
3. Learn app permissions
Users should always read the contracts they agree to and be aware of which features and systems a particular product requests access to. If an application asks for access to some unusual information (for example, a simple calculator does not need your bank card details), it should alert you.
4. Don’t miss updates
Application or system updates do start to take up more and more space in devices’ memories over time. Because of it, some users choose to opt-out of them. However, any update is primarily an improvement in security systems. Outdated programs and devices are easy targets for scammers.
5. Use mobile antiviruses
Using a paid mobile antivirus is never superfluous. Consider purchasing a subscription if you regularly download and test new products. Such services will protect you not only from installing malware but also from falling for other scam tricks like phishing.
If you have an Android device, you can run a check using the “Play Protect” tool, which you can find in the Play Store settings. It will check the installed applications for compliance with the certificates. There is no such feature for iOS devices yet. If you find malware or viruses on your smartphone, remove suspicious items, reboot your system, update your account passwords, and enable two-factor authentication where possible. In extreme cases, you can completely clear the device’s memory.
Have you encountered viruses and malicious applications on your mobile device? How did you manage to get rid of them? Share this article with your friends to raise their security literacy!