Downloading Google Play Store apps for phone? Beware! Do these 5 things first

    Do you download apps frequently on your android smartphone from Google Play Store? Then watch out for these signs before you download any app.
    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Sep 26 2022, 18:57 IST
    Google just banned these Play Store apps! Beware! Did you download any? Check full list
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    1/7 Android smartphone users are again at risk! Cybersecurity researchers have reported about a new malware threat called Autolycos. The worrying part is that the malware has chosen the widely used Google Play Store platform to disseminate the malware to the victim’s phone via apps, Express.co.uk reported (Pixabay)
    PlayStore
    2/7 Moreover, not just one or two, but a total of eight apps on the Google Play Store have been reported to be spoiled with this dangerous malware. The report says that there have already been 3 million installs of these apps, which is concerning because that means there are so many people who are being swindled and whose privacy is being violated. (Unsplash)
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    3/7 The danger of Autolycos malware is that the users find it hard to detect the apps with this malware in them and meanwhile, it performs malicious activities including, even reading SMS on the device. Not just that, shockingly, the malware is capable of even paying for premium services without letting the victim know! (Unsplash)
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    4/7 List of apps on Google Play Store infected by Autolycos malware: Vlog Star Video Editor, Creative 3D Launcher, Wow Beauty Camera, Gif Emoji Keyboard, Freeglow Camera 1.0.0, Coco Camera v1.1, Funny Camera’, and Razer Keyboard & Theme’. (Unsplash)
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    5/7 Collectively, all these apps have a total of 3 million installs. This simply means, around 3 million Android smartphone users are in danger. (Unsplash)
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    6/7 However, the good news is that Google has banned these malware-affected applications from the Play Store. Still, Android users are advised to monitor background internet data and battery consumption constantly to keep themselves safe against these malware threats. (Unsplash)
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    7/7 Also, cybersecurity researchers should try to minimize the number of apps you install on your smartphones. In case, these apps or any data related to them are available on your device, then you should immediately delete them now. (Unsplash)
    Google Play Store
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    Keep these signs in mind before downloading any app through the Google Play Store. (Pixabay)

    If you're an android phone user, you might have downloaded hundreds, if not thousands of apps till date. Google Play Store offers millions of apps for any and all imaginable tasks. Want new widgets on your phone, you've got an app for that. Don't like the look of your home screen, you can customize with downloadable launchers. You can even find similar, if not better replacements for stock apps such as file manager, music player and more.

    However, unlike Apple, Google does not screen apps for malware and hackers on Play Store much, meaning some harmful apps often slip under the radar. These apps, when downloaded on your smartphone, can not only steal your data, but could also potentially put your financial information at risk, leave your phone exposed to hacks and even brick your phone, leaving you a worthless and over-expensive paperweight.

    Thankfully, there are a few signs you can watch out for before downloading any app. According to the Sun UK, there are four huge red-flags to watch out for while downloading any app from the Google Play Store, says Adrianus Warmenhoven, a cybersecurity expert at NordVPN.

    Not sure which
    mobile to buy?

    See the app permissions

    With the new Android updates, whenever you download any app, it asks you for various permissions depending on its purpose. For example, a photo editing app might request access to your storage space, camera, microphone and photo gallery. However, you should always keep an eye out for any app asking for unusual permissions such as access to your personal information, contacts and more.

    Check the reviews

    Always check the app reviews before downloading it. People post app reviews based on their user experience. Warmenhoven explains, “It sounds obvious but users police the apps they use all the time and aren't shy about warning others when they find problems.”

    See the number of downloads

    Any app that is potentially harmful might have only a handful of downloads. So, only download apps which have already been downloaded a respectable number of times. Warmenhover said, “There have been cases where the download figures have been manipulated by fraudsters so you should definitely smell a rat if an app is claiming millions of downloads yet has only been released for a few days.”

    Read the app description

    Google Play Store provides an app description along with information about the app creator. You can click on the developer's name to see a list of other apps they have developed. Therefore, only install apps from trustworthy sources.

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    First Published Date: 26 Sep, 18:56 IST
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