How to Avoid Smartphone Scam Apps

Learn how to protect your device and yourself against rogue applications

By on November 7th, 2011 08:22 GMT

Since rogue mobile applications are not uncommon and the number of victims among smartphone owners is increasing, the United Kingdom government issued a bulletin in which they advise citizens on how to protect themselves against such scams.

When it comes to mobile devices, one of the most profitable operations launched by cybercriminals are the ones in which they make a profit by billing the victims for nonexistent services.

In some situations the victim believes to be actually paying for something but in most cases, a stealthy malware seamlessly sends text messages to premium rate numbers, a process which fills the pockets of the crooks without the user noticing anything.

Most of these rogue apps come disguised as legitimate utilities that most phone owners need. In other cases, like we've seen with the new DroidKungFu, they later upgrade themselves to become malevolent elements.

Once they are downloaded, besides inflating bills they also steal sensitive information which can be used by the hackers to access the victim's assets.

To avoid such scam apps, smartphone owners are recommended to monitor their devices for unusual activities, low processing performance can sometime give away the presence of a malicious software.

Before downloading new applications, check for reviews and ratings left by other customers, in many cases the true identity of a rogue tool will be revealed by other victims.

Also, keep an eye on the battery. If it drains much faster than usual, it might mean that there's a malware operating in the background.

If your operator allows you to check your activity online, you should do so, as this way you are able to stop anything that can later show up on your bill.

Finally, even though the legitimate market places are filled with phony software, there are less chances to end up with an infected device than if you download from all kinds of underground websites that may be run by the hackers themselves to make sure they make a hefty profit.

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