How to know if an application is malicious and is trying to “hack” my “smartphone”

Technology News

On the internet, as in all life, total security does not exist. Threats lurk in every corner, and to avoid them, it is important that the user pay attention to the details before interacting with any mail, page or file that is minimally suspicious . And, precisely, the same happens with mobile applications, which are tools that can help the user; but they should not be downloaded, in any case, lightly.

“When downloading an” app “it is very important to follow a series of steps that are decisive to avoid a scare,” the technical director of the cybersecurity company Check Point explains to ABC . Here are a few tips that can help you keep your data safe.

Watch out for fakes
One of the most common techniques used by cybercriminals who work with applications is to fake popular “apps” to get more downloads . The study ” A Multi-modal Neural Embeddings Approach for Detecting Mobile Counterfeit Apps “, prepared by the University of Sydney and published last year, maintains that, during two years, the presence of more than 2,000 applications for Android present in the official Google Play store pretending to be other known “apps” and containing “malware”, that is, viruses.

That is why it is essential to pay close attention to the fact that the application we want to download is the original one. “This can be seen by checking the number of downloads, the reviews of other users or the syntax in the description,” says Eusebio Nieva.

Only in official stores
When downloading an application it is essential to always use the official stores of the devices. These are the Google Play Store and the Apple Store , in the case of Android and iOS respectively. On the internet there are countless web pages offering the download of “apps” for mobile phones that are not available on official sites. The fact that their origin is unknown, and that, in principle, brands do not trust them to offer them, is a clear indicator that they could be malicious.

The technical director of Check Point places a lot of emphasis on this detail, although he acknowledges that in Google Play and in the Apple Store you can also find harmful applications for devices. «You should always use official stores. Inside, the probability of finding a malicious “app” is lower. Although it exists. Companies have services that are dedicated to discarding applications that appear to have some kind of hidden “malware”, but do not always work.

Be careful with the permits
Before installing any service on a device, it is important to review, even for just a moment, the information that it requests from the user. In accordance with this, it is normal for an application such as Instagram , specially designed to share photos and videos, to request permission from the user to access the microphone, the camera and the “smartphone” reel. However, if, for example, we download an «app» with flashlight functions and it requests access to all the information that we store on the device -when it does not need it to function correctly- the most convenient thing is to save the download so can happen.

Keep them updated
Application updates, as in the case of operating systems, are crucial to strengthen the security of the terminal . And it is that, normally, the new versions are accompanied by solutions of open gaps that can be exploited by cybercriminals. For this reason, cybersecurity experts recommend not letting time pass and making the corresponding update at the same time it is available.

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