Sunday, 13 October 2013

Malicious apps are premium service abusers

Having only just bought my first mobile phone at the tender age of thirty two, once I had mastered making and receiving calls and sending texts, then I was introduced to the wonderful world of apps. One particular favourite is the Sky Map, where just by holding the mobile up to the night sky, can I pick out all the constellations and different planetary alignments. If only this was invented years ago when I struggled through my Girl Guide Star Gazer badge, confidently announcing I had seen the Southern Cross, technically impossible when you hail from the frozen north i.e. Yorkshire. 

Still, the range and breadth of apps on offer is astounding and growing day by day. Sadly, and not surprisingly, so are the numbers of malicious apps. Protecting your pc from rogue malware and malicious apps is getting harder these days particularly when it is reckoned there are around one million malicious applications available for download on the Android Market. It is difficult to imagine that so many are out there, particularly as a few years ago, we were asking what an app was. So to find out now there are around one million pieces of software application that can be run on the internet, your phone or other electronic device and on your pc, potentially costing you thousands, is very worrying.

Consumers fooled by apps in disguise

Top of the list at present is something called FAKEINST. This is usually disguised as a legitimate app, and what this nasty little piece of work does, is to send unauthorised text messages to certain numbers and register users to costly and expensive services. Threats to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are not only restricted to personal data theft, but also can be a serious risk linked to banking transactions. The difficulty for the layperson is how to separate the malicious software, from the genuine article, particularly if rogue apps are now appearing in legitimate apps stores?

Consumer advice on downloading apps

One of the ways to check, if you have downloaded malware unintentionally on your mobile device, is to monitor your phone for any unusual activity. If the battery keeps running down very quickly it could be a malware problem for example. Keep a regular eye on your mobile phone bill by checking it online so that if any dubious or irregular transactions are taking place you could have a problem. Also before downloading any app, take a few minutes to read the reviews and the ratings along with any information from the developer. Keeping your IT antivirus software up to date and regularly running a spyware check will help as well.

Now, it’s time for a quick cup of cocoa before setting my Rise app to wake me up with some soothing tunes and calm and relaxing bedside manner. What is your favourite App to date? Let us know


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