Smartphones plagued by app-based threats

Those with Android may want to start protecting themselves from app-based threats.

Smartphones might be vulnerable to viruses, but they’re still safer than PCs. Right? Apparently not, according to multiple reports. These recent reports show Android devices and iPhones fighting the same threats PCs face, on a daily basis. If you haven’t investigated application control techniques and solutions for your smartphone, now’s the time. There are some ways to avoid getting malware, including understanding what the threats are and how to avoid them.

“We regularly discuss mobile threats and the importance of securing our smartphones and tablets,” PC Magazine’s Security Watch blog said. “Google has always acted swiftly to remove malicious apps from its Google Play marketplace, and in February, introduced ‘Bouncer,’ a scanning service that proactively identifies and blocks malicious apps on the market. However, apps may slip past Bouncer, and there are many alternative markets users can go to download potentially dodgy Android apps.”

The blog said there are plenty of apps that eavesdrop on SMS messages and transmit data back to control severs, but there are even more common types of malware that people don’t really know about. Even apps that are not necessarily malicious can be risky to download, such as the Andr/PJApps-C type of app. These might be apps “cracked through a publicly available tool.”  While these aren’t always malicious, they can be illegal. Other threats include viruses that exploit apps or download unwanted apps, and malware that can hijack Twitter and Facebook on the device.

Another story from PCWorld’s website provided some tips for avoiding Android malware, including always checking app permissions, avoiding installing any Android Package Files and installing a good scanner on the device to keep any obvious viruses and malware off.

Do you have an Android phone or iPhone? If so, how do you keep these devices safe and sound? Drop us a line with your safety precautions!

Scott Cornell

When he’s not knee deep in blogging and all things tech, Scott spends his free time playing ultimate Frisbee and watching foreign films. An expert in emerging tech trends, Scott always has his ear to ground for breaking news related to IT security.