How do we understand when an app is safe and when our security is at risk? Pay attention to these details.

Hidden malware: their presence in Google Play Store apps is proving to be a problem of increasingly alarming proportions. Hardly a day goes by that some cybersecurity company doesn’t identify some of these pitfalls and report them to Google for prompt removal.

Apps, how to understand if they are safe or not – Sjbeez

The question everyone is now asking is this: how do we understand that the apps published on the Play Store are actually safe? In fact, they often pass Google’s checks because they do not contain the malware inside: they download it and run it later, making it difficult for Google to understand if the app contains a virus. So how can we protect our privacy and security? Sometimes the malicious code is directly embedded in the downloaded app, other times the app is harmless and the malware is inserted into one of the updates.

App, how to understand when it is not safe

Of course it would be a good idea to use a good mobile antivirus. But we can also try to understand who the app developer is (the name is always displayed under the application name). If from a Google search we discover that the developer is linked to apps that have proven problematic in the past, well, it’s better to avoid downloading the app.

How can we understand if an app is dangerous? – Sjbeez

We can also check the list of permissions requested by the app. Often many are completely unjustified in light of the app’s stated purposes. For example, it is not clear why a photo editing app needs access to the microphone or our GPS location. Another warning sign to watch out for is a strategy adopted by some of these apps, which initially do not ask for an excessive number of permissions, unless they do so after an update (in which in all likelihood there is the infamous malware ).

Finally, the privacy policy must be carefully considered. Even "clean" apps – even if they do not contain malware – can pose a danger. In this case they were developed mainly to collect our data to then resell without our knowledge. These apps also usually ask for more permissions than is actually necessary.

What makes us suspicious, in a privacy policy, must first of all be its length and complexity. In this way many users, not wanting to waste too much time, will simply accept the document without even reading it. Another suspicious thing in a privacy policy is the possible presence of some kind of implicit consent.

When we find vague formulations such as “the user, by using application X, agrees that Y, Z, W, etc.” we are faced with expressions that mean everything and nothing: in fact the developer wants to acquire implicit consent to do what he wants with our data. The third and last thing to keep a close eye on is the app’s monetization policy: generic expressions on the collection of data for the purpose of providing personalized ads, if not specified in detail, are to be considered dangerous.