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Watch Out for Corrupted Popular Apps

Watch Out for Corrupted Popular Apps - The Beacon


By: Amanda

Watch Out for Corrupted Popular Apps

If you have a smartphone or a tablet, you probably have downloaded some apps, but have you ever really checked in to them before you clicked “purchase”? According to SOPHOS, a research company, several popular apps like Angry Birds Space and Instagram, if downloaded from unofficial app stores, may contain malware.

In the case of Angry Birds Space, the app appears to be a fully-functional version of the game; however, the malware hidden inside the app can now help control your phone and might be able to push your browser to locations where more malicious software can be downloaded.  With Instagram, the app attempts to wire money from the user using fake text messages.  Both of these problems can cost you time and money, especially if you can’t remove the malware and are forced to purchase a new phone.

So before you download the newest game released, we have a few quick tips for you.

  1. Research the company that developed the app.  You can do a quick search online or check with your BBB.
  2. Read the reviews.  If someone has been the unfortunate victim of malware on their phone, they might post a review discussing the problems they’ve had.
  3. Read the “permissions.” The permissions will tell you what the app is allowed to do.  If the app says that it will have the permission to send text messages, you may want to steer clear.
  4. Avoid downloading apps from unofficial sources. The official marketplaces for phones typically have some protections already built in to them so they may be able to scrub out the bad actors; however, nothing is full-proof.

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Amanda is the Director of Bureau Affairs and is a regular contributor to the consumer education blog. She is one of our go-to colleagues for answering complex consumer inquires. Amanda also manages our charity reporting program.