Malware attacks are growing fast and furious, a recent study shows malware attacks on mobile phones increased by 2,180% in 2012. By learning a few security tricks you can continue to use your smartphone’s features safely.

There are, of course, obvious steps you can take to protect your mobile phone such as locking your mobile device with a strong password to protect unauthorized people accessing your data.

Storing your passwords safely is an important and simple measure to take. You can look into using password manager apps to help secure your passwords by encrypting your personal details.

But when it comes to apps for your mobile phone, how do you know if they are safe?

Here are few tips to make sure when you download an app it is the genuine article and not a malicious app.

First, Install Apps with caution.

Make sure your Apps are the real thing and not a pirated copy that tricks you into paying for it. Research user reviews, make notes of the developer and pricing model and make sure they match up in the App store.

Independent stores and unregulated app stores put you at higher risk of downloading malware, as cyber criminals can much more easily distribute a malware-infested app onto these sites.

Know your apps.

Stick with popular, well-known apps to reduce your risk.

If it’s too good to be true it probably is.

Beware of apps offering free movies and MP3s and apps that elsewhere cost money; chances are they are malicious apps.

Caution with free malware anti-virus apps.

Make sure the anti-virus app you download is well-known and from an established app store.

This is very important to avoid installing bogus anti-virus apps that will gather all of your private data and end up in the hands of the bad guys. For hackers, the data on your phone can be very valuable.

Unknown sources

For Android users there is an option to deselect “Unknown sources,” which will help to keep dodgy apps at bay.

Permissions

Before just happily clicking to next or agreeing to install your new app, pay attention to what you are granting permissions for.

Some malicious apps are easier to spot this way as many will request access to areas that usually most apps wouldn’t need to have to function.

Most mobile malware attacks have been focused on the Android operating system as it allows for more freedom with regard to apps. With an open ecosystem it allows purchases from various app groups, but in turn Android has allowed security apps the permissions they need to protect your device.

Most of the popular app stores such as the Apple App Store take extra measures to ensure all malicious apps are kept out, but they are still not invulnerable.

The final and most important measure to take to reduce your risk of a mobile malware attack is to make sure you have an up-to-date anti-malware software installed.

It is predicted that many more sophisticated malware attacks will surface in the next year. But taking these steps and sticking to well-known sites, you will greatly lessen your risk of receiving a malware infection on your mobile device. 

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