Apps are everywhere. Whether it’s on a smart phone or a tablet, there are apps for almost anything and everything. However, not many of us understand the risk that we take when downloading apps. Most people assume apps are safe to download without thinking about the possibility of inadvertently installing a virus or welcoming the receipt of spam. What many people aren’t privy to is the fact that apps can possibly steal personal data without you realizing it.
Malicious apps have been on the rise. There have been three notable malware types that have been known to infect apps. The first malware infection is called “Spyeye.” Spyeye collects text messages sent by banks to identify an individual’s identity and by accessing these messages, the program obtains the username, password and the individual’s identity code. The second malware type is “GoldDream.A,” which sends all your texts and outgoing calls to an outside server. The most notable of the three is “DrdDream.” DrdDream steals all your personal information on your phone (e.g. emails) and sends the information to an outside server. DrdDream affected more than 50 apps in the Android market.
Due to the infancy stage of the mobile apps market, malware protection is an area of improvement companies are beginning to work on. Sprint and McAfee have partnered up and created, “McAfee Mobile Security.” McAfee Mobile Security backs up your data, wipes out the data from a stolen phone and provides protection to unknown apps and unknown web pages. Sprint charges $29.99 for a one-year subscription. AT&T is also looking into creating a software similar to the Sprint/McAfee partnership. AT&T hopes by the end of the year they will have their own preventative method.
Don’t fret! There are things you can do to protect ourselves from being attacked. First, you need to take the threats seriously just like you re: personal devices such as a laptop. Secondly, think before downloading the app. If there are apps asking for permission to your contact list then maybe it’s not a good idea to download it. Also make sure you look at the ratings and reviews. You might not agree with all the reviews, but there might be remarks left by several people that can hint that there is something wrong with the app.
Always remember, hackers will always try to find a way to steal your data. Make sure you take the time to protect your data and identity, whether it’s on the computer or on your smart phone.
To learn more about the threats to mobile apps visit: