One of the greatest innovations that a smart phone has today are the many different App’s that you can download instantaneously. But are all App’s created equal. Well, many App’s are built to improve the quality of our lives, but there are some whose intentions are not so pure. When the bad guys publish malicious App’s on App stores, those App’s can make charges to your phone bill, send unsolicited messages to your contact list, or give an attacker control over your device.
There are so many App’s that it can be hard to keep track of the good ones and the bad. That’s why the PIX-11 “Know Your Enemy” Team wants to share some security tips with you to make sure your App’s make life better, and not worse.
Do you think you should be aware about mobile malware? Every month there are new reports of bugs and exploitations warning consumers that their phones could be a target of spammers and malicious hackers.
Remember, security software protects against malicious software such as viruses, spam and malware. Did you know the following:
- A virus is a self-replicating program that runs and spreads by modifying other programs or files.
- Spam is the abuse of electronic messaging systems. It is electronic junk mail.
- Malware is a program that is inserted into the operating system of a mobile device, to compromise the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of the data, application, or operating system of the device. This is usually done covertly without the user’s awareness.
Here are some simple tips that can keep your App’s safe:
Listen to your phone. We know the notifications can be bothersome, but be sure to update the software on your phone. Many software updates are made in response to new security threats.
Brands matter. Shop at well known app stores, like Goggle Play Store or Amazon App store for Android. Sure, there are quite a few third-party app stores and app download websites out there, but your risk of encountering malware on alternative app stores is much higher.
Look before you leap. Before you download an app, check the ratings, download numbers, and reviews to gauge how trustworthy and authentic it is. If the app has a few downloads, bad ratings and negative feedback, those are warning signs that it could be malicious.
Check with your cell phone provider for free mobile security downloads to scan every app you download. If security software does not come installed on your mobile device, you may need to download it. Research the software before downloading to verify it is from a trusted source.
The WPIX-11 “Know Your Enemy Team” hopes that these tips will be helpful to you so you can have fun with your smart phone instead of worrying about it. Remember, your phone is your lifeline, It’s your photo album, your digital checkbook, your social calendar, and your address book and much more.
Being mindful of these simple tips will help you and your family members to relax, and enjoy all the amazing activities your mobile phone has to offer.