Beware of Password Stealing Apps on Your Android Phone
Short, simple to remember passwords are making you an easy target for criminals. Even those of you who use complex passwords are at risk of falling victim to Android apps stealing data to attack your phone.
Downloading one of these Android apps that have malware is as easy as downloading a fake app from the Google Store. The good news is, they’re not likely to steal your Facebook password in order to change your status update. The bad news? They’re stealing your login details for payment cards, banking apps, e-wallets, and passport information.
The truth of the matter is, your phone is full of sensitive data making it the perfect target for cybercriminals. The solution is to find an antivirus that will protect both your phone and personal data without you even noticing it’s there. Keep reading for our list of the top three phone antiviruses available at the moment.
How are Android Apps Stealing Data From Your Phone?
The one thing that Android customers absolutely love about their smartphones is the versatility of their devices. From changing your phone’s look to erasing old themes and adding new ones, to the millions of app options from the Google Store. The possibilities are endless. But just as your options are limitless so are the opportunities for cyber hacking.
Malware rates have been on the rise for the past ten years, with the biggest security breaches most commonly found in North and South America. For example, in June of 2018 it was discovered that a group of cybercriminals had sneaked apps into the Google Play Store. These apps were full of Trojan banking malware.
The malware called Anubis was created to steal various password details for banking apps, payment cards, and e-wallets. What happens is that Anubis is safely hidden away from security controls and only becomes active when your app is installed.
The hackers behind the malware will regularly update and change the code of Anubis so that it cannot be detected by Google Play’s security. Once Anubis is in the comforts of your phone, it will ask you for accessibility rights from an app called “Google Protect”. The creators of this Android malware are hoping you see the word Google and just assume it’s authentic. Clever, right?
Because you’ve essentially given them permission to perform keylogging, they are able to see track whenever you use a payment site or a banking service, simply by taking a screenshot of your display screen.
Malware apps are on the rise and are frequently found in Android devices, with as many as 300 new variants hitting the market monthly and as many as 87% of all Android smartphones being targets to at least one critical malware threat. The answer to solving the problem lies in a reputable mobile antivirus protection program.
Different Types of Mobile Malware
As everything has become mobile, so has your banking. These Trojans infiltrate your device and collect bank logins and password details.
Stealing user data such as photos, videos, and documents, your data is encrypted and then a ransom is demanded in order for you to get it back. If you refuse your data is usually locked or deleted.
Spyware keeps track of your mobile activity and usually goes unnoticed, collecting information, keeping track of your location and passwords. You probably won’t even know it’s there until your phone performance starts getting worse.
Sending malware via text is another way to create havoc on your phone. Even if you don’t open the text, it could still enter your phone, giving access to your details to those hacking it.
This is malware that has come on leaps and bounds since its beginnings. Something that was once just annoying, cyber criminals have gone a step further and created something called “malvertising”. This infects your phone and forces it to download particular adware as well as allowing attackers to get a hold of your personal information.
Phone hackers are creating financial chaos by sending users text messages and bringing up their phone bills.
How to know if your Phone is Being Targeted by Malware Apps
There are a few telltale signs that can give away suspicious activity on your phone including:
- Random pop-up ads
- Slow device
- Your apps keep crashing
- Malicious fake pop-ups
- Unwanted app installs
- Your battery being drained
- Random charges on your phone bill
- Unexplained data usage
How to Protect Your Phone from Android Apps that have Malware
Make sure to take all the necessary precautions in keeping your mobile phone safe from any Android apps stealing your data. To do this you should:
Keep tabs on your email
Many hackers still like to send malicious attachments via email in order to infiltrate your phone or tablet. If you see a suspicious link, message or email do not click on it as it might direct you to malware filled websites or expose you to phishing.
Use a Secure Wi-Fi Connection
This move will make sure that you have secured yourself from third parties snooping on your device and keeping tabs on your internet activity whilst using your phone. Instead, always opt to use your own mobile data as a precaution. It should be noted that this doesn’t mean this will protect you when you visit malware infected sites.
Don’t root or jailbreak your mobile device
Keeping your phone’s original settings will keep your phone safer as you gain from constantly upgrading your security system. Choosing to root or jailbreak will mean you’re exposing your phone to third-party apps including Android apps that have malware.
Always rely on apps that you know are from trusted sources. Third party apps are breeding grounds for malware that can infect and breach your data security.
Invest in antivirus protection
Once again, only use Android antivirus protection software from legitimate sources. Free, third-party apps can and usually do mask themselves to be aiding your phone in keeping up security measures when really the threats are coming from that exact source. After installing a safe antivirus program, run it on a regular basis so that you’re sure your device is clean.
Why you need an Antivirus for your Phone
Many of you might argue that most Android phones and iPhones already come with built-in security, and this is partly true.
While smartphones have pretty good mobile protection when it comes to security, the problem is that they often start working when it’s too late. But once your phone has already been infected with malware, it can be too late. Your passwords are gone, your financial data released, and your privacy breached.
The perfect antivirus for your phone will be able to:
- Protect your passwords
- Locate and destroy malware as well as other threats
- Secure your online banking and shopping
- Build a powerful firewall to keep hackers out
- Keep your inbox free of spam
- Automatically update your software
- Permanently destroy any sensitive data
Top Three Antivirus Programs for your Phone
This is our favorite mobile antivirus program available right now. Kaspersky has a reputation as being one of the best for security and protection. There are a free version and a paid version of their app, and whilst the free version comes with an impressive amount of features, the paid version will go a few steps further in ensuring your protection.
In 2017 Kaspersky had an impressive malware detection rate of 99.9% and will also prevent infections from happening by blocking any malicious sites or links coming your way.
The Premium Android Protection entails:
- Rigorous protection technologies
- Supports Android Wear security management
- Data protection for lost or stolen devices
- Simple to use interface
- Automatic scanning for malware
- Call and text filtering
- Anti-phishing protection
- Manual scanning
- Hides calls and texts
- Locks key apps
Winning awards from AV Test for best Android security and being the editors’ choice for PCMag, Norton antivirus does a fantastic job in keeping your phone safe. Offering protection for both iOS and Android devices, you can be sure your phone is protected as they were able to detect 100% of all Android malware when tested by AV.
There are useful tools to maximize security including the ability to lock your phone via SMS or even remotely lock your phone if it has been stolen or lost. One of the best features Norton offers is their free 30-day trial.
Norton Security and Antivirus entails:
- Sim card lock
- Proactive malware protection
- Anti-theft protection
- Remote Location pinpoints your Android on a map
- Anti Phishing web protection
- Safe browsing
- Privacy advisor
- Intrusive adware app advisor
- Privacy advisor
- Report card
- Safe browsing
This is another mobile security option that will not let you down in protecting your most personal details. Purchased by Avast back in 2016, you might notice that AVG has very similar features to the Avast antivirus app. There are a few differences though such as the anti-theft tracking feature via Google Maps.
You can also test it out to see if it suits your security needs with their 14-day free trial. Our favorite feature? The Theftie – the theft selfie for anyone trying to unlock your phone.
AVG Antivirus entails:
- Kills tasks and processes slowing your phone down
- Cleans unnecessary files to free up storage space
- Website scanning for harmful threats
- Wifi scanner
- Scans apps, games and files for malicious content
- Locates your stolen phone via Google Maps
- Phone locking
- Makes your phone sound a siren
- Theftie – emails you photos of people trying to unlock your phone
The Bottom Line
Protecting your phone’s security is paramount, especially in today’s social climate where a lot of our information is being stored on mobile devices. From business and personal information to social and financial details, there is a lot to keep safe.
You wouldn’t just allow a burglar to walk into your home and take whatever it is they want. You take the necessary precautions to keep your home protected. The same goes for your Android and iPhone. Malware apps are real and dangerous. Be sure to protect yourself from these malicious threats.