Published on February 5, 2014
5 TYPES OF SHADY APPS AND HOW TO AVOID THEM BY LOOKOUT, INC.
Lookout analyzes 30K apps a day. A few are truly malicious, but many are very shady. Shady apps walk that ﬁne line between good and bad and can put people at risk for identity theft, spam and more.
Shady apps are worth avoiding. Here are the 5 most common types.
Avoid: Pirated Apps
PIRATED APPS Popular apps like Candy Crush and Angry Birds often get pirated into seemingly free, fake versions. The accompanying ads put you at increased risk of receiving spam and exposing the personal data on your phone Avoid the scam: Spend a couple bucks to get the real app and support the legitimate maker of the app while protecting your privacy.
Avoid: Porno Apps Lips icon by Simon Child from The Noun Project
PORNOGRAPHIC APPS IN 2013 HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PORNO APPS Were encountered (ahem) by Lookout users Racy apps can be intentionally very unclear about how much they charge you, letting you run up huge fees. Avoid the scam: Get your pr0n from a trustworthy website rather than downloading apps. If you insist on triple-x mobile apps, make sure you fully understand the (sometimes intentionally confusing) terms and conditions and watch out for high subscription fees.
Avoid: Fake Antivirus Apps
FAKE ANTIVIRUS APPS These apps give you little protection, charge crazy rates, and might even tell you your phone is infected when it’s not. Avoid the scam: Watch out for app reviews that seem fake or canned, or if the app reports malware or other threats before you’ve even installed the app. (It’s technically impossible for an app to analyze your phone before actually being installed on your phone.)
Avoid: Free Money Apps
FREE MONEY APPS Lookout has identiﬁed Bazuc, which promises you free money if you let their network access your unused SMS messages. This can expose your personal info to strangers, resulting in unwanted phone calls and texts, and might violate your carrier’s terms and conditions. Avoid the scam: Make sure the Android system setting “Unknown Sources” is unchecked to prevent drive-by downloads, (apps that install themselves without permission), and install a mobile security app like Lookout.
Avoid: Misleading Apps
MISLEADING APPS Some apps are like a deadbeat dad, making promises they don’t deliver on, and then spamming you with a ton of ads. The usual suspects include battery optimizers and games. Avoid the scam: Only download apps from recognized stores such as Google Play, Amazon or the Apple App store and read the reviews thoroughly.
TIPS TO AVOID SHADY APPS • • • Stick to legitimate apps in legitimate stores like Google Play Store, Apple’s App Store and the Amazon App store. Before you download, spend an extra ﬁve minutes to check out the reviews not just in the app store, but also on review sites around the web. Be cautious of permissions. If an app asking to access things like your camera, location and phone contact information, are you ok with that? • If it seems to good to be true, it probably is! • Download Lookout’s mobile security app as your ﬁrst line of defense!
For more mobile security tips, follow
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