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Beware of risky mobile apps amidst coronavirus epidemic

risky mobile apps

While there looks isolation across the world due to coronavirus – COVID-19 to be more specific – and most parts of the world are in a state of a lockdown situation, be it USA, Italy, India, or Pakistan, the screen time on mobile phones has risen exponentially. The whole world is glued to mobile apps to find

  • latest coronavirus stats and cure guidance
  • looking for mobile apps to keep oneself busy and productive
  • mobile apps that can accomplish task remotely

Here comes the room for risky mobile apps that take this surge in demand as an opportunity to intrude on your private digital space for hunting your most valuable asset, your personal data. It’s better to rely on the most authentic mobile apps and sources for getting the latest info as well as for killing your time.

Tracking COVID-19

To track COVID-19, there are a few reliable dashboards present for the time being. One of which is by John Hopkins University that provides a comprehensive look at the crisis. Whereas, another commendable attempt has been made by Microsoft, with the help of a Pakistani Engineer. The Dashboard they developed is available for iOS and Android devices as well. They are tracking the epidemic globally, and most of the individuals have based their apps on these sources.

If you are going to look for COVID-19 or coronavirus, the possibilities are that you would find WHO as the only choice on Android since, being the authentic source, Google has prioritized it on the Play Store. There are a couple of more apps designed by the respective government and large organizations that could be useful as well, but don’t go for any mobile app that is not on Play Store or Apple Store. The chances are you could lose more than what you will get.

What are risky mobile apps?

The mobile application that carries harmful malware is considered risky for your devices. That is because they bypass your security through various means and steal valuable information. Today, our mobile devices contain sensitive information such as our bank accounts, social security numbers, our precious contact list, and of course, the personal and family data, which makes them the lucrative target for a hacker. So, during the COVID-19 crisis, as many people are staying in their houses. Downloading applications is the only way to pass the time, and hence they are prone to malware.

How these apps steal your data?

The easiest way for applications to hack into your devices is through “App Permission,” as many of us do not pay much attention to the amount of access we grant to mobile applications. Many mobile apps require access to photos, audio, and contacts for them to set up their network. Therefore, this is precisely how malicious software gets into your system. It hides in the form of regular mobile applications and then gains access to your device.

Top candidates for risky apps

Hackers are smart to hide their malware in applications that are among the top-performing categories. This includes games, social apps, food delivery, buying and selling apps, and applications that utilize the camera. So, if you are installing any one of these applications, then you need to make sure that your device is protected internally from malware.

Safety precautions

Risky mobile apps can only invade your device if you permit them to do so. Therefore, the only way to protect your device is to ensure that your security settings are up to date. Two main features will prevent the access of malicious software to your device. The first is Google Play Protect, which protects your device from any malicious software from the play store. By default, this setting is always active in your android device, but some applications for you to turn it off. That is why it is essential always to keep it on and ensure your device is safe.

Secondly, it is necessary to keep an eye on the permission that the applications seek. So, you know that they are not gaining access to more than they require. In simple words, a music app has no concern with either photos or contacts. Nor should a mobile game or utility app be given access to contacts or other unnecessary information? Keeping your device safe from risky mobile apps is very important during the COVID-19 crisis or otherwise.

Never grant access to risky mobile applications from unreliable sources. Nor grant access to sensitive information such as pictures, contacts, or microphone if the app has no concern with it. Keeping your device safe only takes a few seconds, so spare some now; otherwise, you may regret it later.

images source: ncr

Written by Sumaira Mudassar

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