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Relentless Mobile Threats to Avoid

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Lookout analyzes more than 30,000 apps every day. Although most are safe, there are a few categories to watch out for. Here's Lookout's list of mobile threats to avoid.

Published in: Mobile, Technology
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Relentless Mobile Threats to Avoid

  1. RELENTLESS MOBILE THREATS TO AVOID By Lookout, Inc.
  2.  Every day, Lookout analyzes more than 30,000 apps from around the world.
  3.        While most apps are safe, a handful of them pose notable risks.
  4. 1 APPS THAT SPY ON YOU
  5. It sounds like the stuff of James Bond, but some apps can spy on everything you do with your phone. WE CALL THIS SURVEILLANCEWARE 1 Apps that spy on you
  6. WHY IT’S DANGEROUS The malware accesses personal data stored on the device and continues to collect new information based on your activity on the phone (envision a husband looking for evidence of his spouse’s cheating). This can put you at risk of identity fraud and result in your pictures, videos, browser history, call history, and more falling into the wrong hands. 1 Apps that spy on you
  7. HOW YOU ENCOUNTER IT Surveillanceware is effectively spyware that is sold with a warning: in order for you to use the product legally, you must inform the person that they are being watched. Surveillanceware gets on your phone when someone takes your device and downloads the software. ! In 2014, we found tens of thousands of people affected by Surveillanceware. 1 Apps that spy on you
  8. SAFETY TIP: ! • Setting a pin or passcode on your device is your first line of defense against an unauthorized third-party, making it that much harder for someone to install unwanted software on your phone. 1 Apps that spy on you
  9. 2 APPS THAT HOLD YOUR PHONE FOR RANSOM
  10. One of the worst feelings is being forced into doing something you don’t want to do. Unfortunately, there are mobile applications that do just that. This type of malware locks a victim’s device, demanding money in return for access. WE CALL THIS RANSOMWARE 2 Apps that hold your phone for ransom
  11. WHY IT’S DANGEROUS It often uses fear to get what it wants. A user might lose their data or the use of their device overall as many of these pieces of malware are extremely difficult to remove (oftentimes because victims give the ransomware “device admin” privileges). If the victim gives in to the ransom, they can be out hundreds of dollars with no guarantee that their device’s activity will be restored. 2 Apps that hold your phone for ransom
  12. HOW YOU ENCOUNTER IT Recently, we’ve seen ransomware targeting the U.S. through drive-by downloads, or when a victim has malware secretly downloaded to their device when they visit a “malicious” or infected website. It is also likely distributed through spam campaigns. ! In 2014, we believe over a million people have encountered ransomware. 2 Apps that hold your phone for ransom
  13. SAFETY TIPS: • Avoid awarding device administrator to applications unless you’re really sure of what they do • Only download applications from developers you know and trust • Download a mobile security app such as Lookout, which can detect these threats before you ever open them 2 Apps that hold your phone for ransom
  14. 3 MALWARE THAT USES YOUR PHONE WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION
  15. We discovered malware that infects its victims by secretly downloading the malware to your phone when you visit bad websites. Once on your phone, the malware lets criminals send things like scalped tickets or send spam campaigns through your phone. WE CALL THIS NOTCOMPATIBLE 3 Malware That Uses Your Phone Without Your Permission
  16. WHY IT’S DANGEROUS You don’t want activity you didn’t approve happening on your device. NotCompatible has the ability to trick websites into thinking that web traffic is coming from your phone when it’s actually coming from another destination. For example, ticket scalpers use Not Compatible to buy tickets through your phone to later be resold. When they use your phone as a “proxy” to access, say, TicketMaster, that website then believes it’s you accessing it and not the real culprits -- the scalpers. You’re caught in the middle of the scheme without ever knowing it. 3 Malware That Uses Your Phone Without Your Permission
  17. HOW YOU ENCOUNTER IT NotCompatible is downloaded to a person’s phone after they access a website that is secretly harboring malware. This is called a “drive-by download” and is only possible when the “unknown sources” setting on an Android is enabled. We’ve also seen links to sites secretly downloading NotCompatible in phishing emails. ! In 2014, we found hundreds of thousands of people affected by NotCompatible. 3 Malware That Uses Your Phone Without Your Permission
  18. SAFETY TIPS: • Avoid opening spam email. Unexpected emails from long lost friends with generic titles such as ‘hot news’ ‘You Won $1000” are normally a good indication that an email is spam. • Use common sense when clicking on links. If it’s not a website name that you recognize, err on the side of caution. Be especially careful when receiving links that have been ‘shortened’ (e.g. bit.ly/ ABCD), as it stops you from seeing what website you might be traveling to. • If your mobile device unexpectedly starts downloading a file that you weren’t expecting, don’t click on it – delete it! • Download a mobile security app like Lookout that scans for malware • Disable the “unknown sources” setting in your Android 3 Malware That Uses Your Phone Without Your Permission
  19. 4 AGGRESSIVE AD NETWORKS
  20. Advertisements fuel the mobile ecosystem and allow us to enjoy free apps like Candy Crush and Instagram, but some mobile advertising practices cross the line and put your privacy at risk. WE CALL THIS ADWARE 4 Aggressive ad networks
  21. WHY IT’S DANGEROUS Adware grabs a lot of highly personal information about you (like email, location, and contacts) that you might not realize is being taken. It can also modify phone settings and desktops without properly notifying you or getting your consent. Just because it’s tracking you for seemingly innocuous “advertising reasons” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be informed. 4 Aggressive ad networks
  22. HOW YOU ENCOUNTER IT Adware is often added to what can seem like a normal app that you download from an app store. Lookout flags adware based on these guidelines. ! In 2014, millions of people were affected by Adware. 4 Aggressive ad networks
  23. SAFETY TIPS: ! • First things first, check the app reviews – make sure there aren’t complaints about overactive, intrusive, or privacy-breaching advertisements. ! • Before hitting install, review what personal information the app collects. If you’re uncomfortable with what’s being harvested, don’t use the app. 4 Aggressive and pushy ad networks
  24. For more mobile security tips, follow

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