Apps are posted regularly in the Google Play store or iTunes store to be downloaded. We all use them, we all download them. There are many that we use to enhance our home, personal and work lives. Unfortunately, our need to download the latest apps and, the regularity in which new ones appear and the ease in free downloads can sometimes lead to exploitation.
There is limited regulation around the posting of new apps from download stores. This means that apps containing malicious software are on the rise. Be vigilant – do your research before downloading an app. If it doesn’t have many reviews or downloads it may be best to avoid. Also, be very aware of permissions requested by mobile apps as this can indicate malicious behaviour..
While all mobile devices have security risks, iOS has fewer instances of compromise versus Android. The increased vulnerability of Android is a result of its open-source nature, slow rate of user update and reduced app vetting versus iOS. Apple iOS is much more restrictive and maintains control of both mobile phone hardware and app software for increased security.
Google removed more than a dozen Android apps from the Google Play store this past month, found to contain malicious malware.All the apps were disguised as car racing games, two of which made GooglePlay’s ‘trending’ section before being pulled. This follows the discovery of 41apps last year containing auto-clicking adware that infected up to 36.5 million users. Google disclosed in January that it had removed a total of more than 700,000 malicious apps from the Google Play store in 2017.
Put locks on your app downloads so that others accessing your phone cannot download apps without your authority. If you discover an app on your phone that you did not download yourself or one that crashes every time you attempt to use it, delete it immediately. It is advised you launch your phone in safe mode or aeroplane mode to limit app capabilities while deleting.
There are also malware protection apps such as Avast Security, Malwarebytes and 360 Security that can help identify malware and protect from future attacks. Sophos Mobile Security is specifically designed for Android users with malware detection and remote lock/wipe function. However, as with all apps, do your research and know your source. There are also fraudulent antivirus apps circulating that put users at risk. While adding security to mobile devices is recommended employing best practices such as limiting app downloads to reviewed apps with regular updating of device and app software will be most beneficial.
IDCARE is here to provide you with specialist support and guidance when faced with a cyber and identity related issue. Contact one of our Identity & Cyber Security Case Managers to learn more about our Support Services and how we can help you.
IDCARE as a registered charity does not ask individuals to donate or pay for our front line services. We are not a charity that can receive tax deductible donations. We rely on organisations that care enough about you to care about us to keep our charitable service going. Proudly these organisations are displayed above and on our Subscriber Organisations page. If you are asked for payment from someone claiming to be from IDCARE, please report this to us using our Report Phishing email.
IDCARE has access to the Department of Social Services’ Free Interpreting Service, delivered by the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National). Access to the Free Interpreting Service is provided to assist you to communicate with non-English speaking people who hold a Medicare card. Please note that the service does not extend to New Zealand citizens or residents who do not hold an Australian Medicare card, or to tourists, overseas students or people on temporary work visas.
New Zealand Relay provides services to help Deaf, hearing impaired, speech impaired, Deafblind and standard phone users communicate with their peers. A TTY user connects to New Zealand Relay via a toll-free number and types their conversation to a Relay Assistant (RA) who then reads out the typed message to a standard phone user (hearing person).
The RA relays the hearing person's spoken words by typing them back to the Textphone (TTY) User.
The National Relay Service (NRS) is an Australian government initiative that allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing and/or have a speech impairment to make and receive phone calls.
The NRS is available 24 hours a day, every day and relays more than a million calls each year throughout Australia.