The rise in interest in mobile devices has predictably brought with it a rise in malware targeting smartphones and tablets, much to the chagrin of cyber safety experts.
As sales of smart mobile devices now exceed those of desktop and laptop PC’s, cybercriminals are maliciously modifying downloadable apps to infect such devices, says cyber security company McAffee.
The cyber watchdog says the amount of smartphone malware currently floating around is a lot lower than the stuff that targets PCs, but being aware it exists is the first step to keeping safe wit apps.
When downloading apps try and stick to those that have been broadly used in the market and look out for positive reviews from contacts you trust, the company advices.
Android users can increase their safety by deselecting the ‘unknown sources’ in the Application Settings menu on their device, and sticking with the proper Android Market channel for all app downloads.
Analyst Lawrence Pingree advices closely reading the services an app is asking permission to access on your phone – a game or alarm clock shouldn’t need access to stuff like your contacts or data transmission.
“As the application market continues to boom, users should be more cautious that they know what they’re installing,” he says.