Mobile apps and security

Mobile apps and security

<  Back to News and Media

Published on:

December 4, 2018

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.


Other News

IDCARE is always active in the media from radio to TV, social media and news articles. Keep up to date with what's happening at IDCARE and in the media.
Covid 19 scams, the world's biggest data dump and Facebook

Covid 19 scams, the world's biggest data dump and Facebook

Looking for love online? There is a lot more to worry about than a broken heart

IDCARE Managing Director Professor David Lacey says romance scams have increased by 40% in recent months during the coronavirus pandemic.

QLD Aftermath Report 2018

A summary of impacts identity and cyber-related crimes had on Queensland.

Meet the kids from Coen

What do primary school students know about cyber security?



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.   

Get help

Submit a web request

Call Centre Icon


1800 595 160

Mon - Fri: 8am - 5pm AEST

QLD: 07 3555 5900
ACT & NSW: 02 8999 3356
VIC: 03 7018 2366
NT, SA & WA08 7078 7741

Call Centre Icon

call our NEW ZEALAND

0800 121 068

Mon - Fri: 10am - 7pm NZST

AKL: 09 884 4440