Contrary to popular belief, phones are susceptible to malicious apps just like desktop computers. In recent weeks there have been dozens of phone apps that have been rejected by the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, but not before they were available for download and use by thousands of people. Not to mention, if you already downloaded and installed one of the the apps in question, it doesn’t help you at all if the store pulls the product, because it’s already on your phone.
There are several things you can do and look for to keep your phones safer.
- For instance, you should only download verified apps from the Google Play Store. If you don’t see the words “Verified by Play Protect,” find another app that meets your needs. This rule doesn’t apply to Apple App Store apps.
- Read the app description. Check the spelling and grammar. If it is bad, you can bet the programming isn’t good either.
- Monitor data usage. If your data usage suddenly spikes and your actual usage does not, this can be a sign of a compromised app which needs to be uninstalled asap.
- If you no longer use an app or if you start getting popups after installing an app, the best bet is to uninstall it immediately.
- Keep your phone up to date by installing new Android OS or iOS versions soon after the releases.
To Uninstall an app on Android OS
- Go to Settings → Apps. Make sure all apps are displayed by selecting “All” in the drop-down menu at the top.
- Select the app you want to uninstall.
- Choose “Clear cache.” (Android users may need to click “Storage” first.)
- Next, select “Clear data.”
- Select “Uninstall.”
For iOS users
- Press and hold the app icon. The apps should begin to wiggle.
- Tap the “X” icon on the app you want to uninstall, then select “Delete.”
- Select “Done” or press the home button when you’re done uninstalling apps.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is to be aware of the fact that apps can compromise the security and privacy of your phone. Also, be familiar with the warning signs of such apps, and if a malicious app is suspected, remove it as soon as possible.