Beware! These Google Play Store apps are dangerous! 5 things you must never do

    A huge number of Google Play Store apps have malicious malware that can steal from your phone and compromise mobile security. These include food delivery apps, gaming apps, email apps and more. Here are 5 things that you must never do to protect yourself and your privacy from online criminals.

    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Aug 21 2022, 20:17 IST
    Most phone users assume that if they download an app from Google Play Store, then it would be safe. However, Google Play Store has lakhs of apps that have malicious malware in them designed to compromise your privacy and steal from you. You must ensure your web security remains high.
    Most phone users assume that if they download an app from Google Play Store, then it would be safe. However, Google Play Store has lakhs of apps that have malicious malware in them designed to compromise your privacy and steal from you. You must ensure your web security remains high. (REUTERS)
    Most phone users assume that if they download an app from Google Play Store, then it would be safe. However, Google Play Store has lakhs of apps that have malicious malware in them designed to compromise your privacy and steal from you. You must ensure your web security remains high.
    Most phone users assume that if they download an app from Google Play Store, then it would be safe. However, Google Play Store has lakhs of apps that have malicious malware in them designed to compromise your privacy and steal from you. You must ensure your web security remains high. (REUTERS)

    Everyone goes to Google Play Store to download apps. But there are dangerous apps present there and these pose a huge threat to users. Downloading apps from Google Play Store, if not done carefully, can lead to loss of money and even identity, not to mention passwords and more. Immense danger to users is posed by food delivery apps, gaming apps, email apps and even workout apps. Read below 5 don't dos that will protect you from online criminals by ensuring your mobile security.

    Yes, Google Android mobile operating system is no stranger malicious apps. Now, security researchers have discovered a whopping 19,000 and more apps on Google Play Store that put users' personal information at a risk. This information has been left exposed owing to issues with Google's Firebase database and it affects a wide variety of apps that most users have on their phones. However, these apps web security is compromised.

    Firebase database is a cloud-hosted database used by app developers to create mobile and desktop-based apps wherein data is stored and syncronised in real time. Data is persisted locally, and even while offline, realtime events continue to fire, giving the end user a responsive experience.

    Now, researchers at Avast Threat Labs discovered that over 19,300 Android apps were exposing user data, which includes personally identifiable information (PII) collected by the apps, such as names, addresses, location data, and in some cases even passwords, due to the misconfiguration of the Firebase database. The researchers found out that this flaw not only affected Android apps across categories, but it also affected apps in regions worldwide including in Europe, South-East Asia and Latin America.

    “These open instances put the data stored and used by the apps developed with Firebase at risk of theft..When developers use bad security practices, records can even contain plain text passwords,” Avast wrote in a blog post announcing its discovery.

    When Avast Threat Labs researchers looked at 180,300 publicly available Firebase apps, they found that over 10%, which is nearly 19,300 apps, were open, exposing the data to unauthenticated developers. These were open due to misconfiguration by the app developers.

    “Each one of these open instances is a data breach event waiting to happen and can pose critical business, legal and regulatory risks if they happen. Potentially the personal information of over 10% of users of Firebase-based apps could be at risk,” explained Vladimir Martyanov, Malware Researcher at Avast in a blog post.

    On Google Play Store, don't ever do this:

    1. Never download an app from Google Play Store without verifying it. Read the documents there carefully, there will be many problems that will indicate it is unsafe to download. Even the language will have a problem and there will be spelling mistakes.

    2. Don't download apps that promise you rewards without asking you to pay anything or very little.

    3. Never download apps without reading user reviews.

    4. Don't download apps that ask for permissions you are uncomfortable in giving or which can reveal your secret details.

    5. Never install apps without having a good anti-virus software. Mobile anti-virus helps to protect you and your phone from online criminals.

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    First Published Date: 10 Sep, 17:29 IST
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