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Security experts are advising Android and iPhone users on how to stay clear of dangerous fake apps that can be found lurking on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. The advice from NordVPN comes after it was revealed more than 400 apps capable of stealing Facebook logins were discovered in 2022 on the official Android and iPhone app marketplaces. To help you avoid downloading bogus apps – which can steal your usernames, passwords or deliver dangerous malware – Android and iPhone users can follow some simple best practices.
As NordVPN explained to Express.co.uk, performing a few important checks before downloading an app can save you a whole lot of trouble further down the line.
Even if you’re downloading something from an official marketplace such as the Google Play Store or Apple App Store it’s always best to look into the developer of the app, the amount of ratings it has and read reviews.
If the app isn’t made by a well-known firm and it has low ratings along with reviews that mention worrying issues then this should send alarm bells ringing.
Marijus Briedis, a cybersecurity expert with the leading VPN provider, said: “Before downloading any new app, even from an established marketplace like Google Play or the App Store, it’s always worth doing some checks.
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“Look at the credits on the app, which will reveal which developer has produced it, when it was released and how many times it has been downloaded.
“Have a look at a few pages of reviews, even if they look overwhelmingly positive, to make sure that the app rating hasn’t been manipulated by fake entries designed to cancel out negative feedback or warnings.
“Also read what permissions the app is asking for – especially if they seem unrelated to its function – and, if it does collect data, see that it provides an option for this to be deleted.”
Having a good anti-virus app installed on your Android device, as well as using a VPN service, can also help add extra layers of protection to your smartphone.
Where possible as well, if a service you use – such as Facebook – offers two-factor authentication (2FA) then it’s always best to activate it.
This ensures even if hackers somehow obtain one of your logins they will still need a 2FA code to access an account.
When 2FA is enabled unique codes are sent to your mobile phone via text or in an email, and this code is then needed in addition to a username and password to access your account.
While this helps add a crucial extra layer of security some pieces of malware that hackers spread are capable of stealing 2FA codes – so be very careful about what apps you download onto your phone.
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