LIFESTYLE



Dodgy Apps –
how to be safe online
You could be using your phone, accessing a link sent by a friend or from browsing the web. Uh-oh, turns out it was a phishing link, now they have your login details! Or you might be using your phone on the Google Play or the App Stores, with an application downloaded from there, which you believe to be what it says it is. Ever stop to question if it's safe? And what if you're browsing the web and you want to access a website that … oh no, pop-ups? Adverts opening even when I am NOT on that website? That obviously isn't good!

It's known that there are risks to all devices and these could come from online, for example, if you're downloading something believed to be safe and yet you get malware.

So, what is the best way to keep yourself safe when you're connected to the internet?

Here's a list of camera apps Tag '20 suggest you might want to avoid or uninstall immediately! However don't just take our word for it, do your own research.

The following have been reported for installing random apps, one requesting access to the user's contacts, and some asking for high accuracy GPS tracking and microphone usage.

  1. BeautyPlus
    easy photo editor & selfie camera
    Downloads: 30M, developer: Meitu (China) Limited.

  2. BeautyCam
    Downloads: 10M, developer: Meitu (China) Limited.

  3. BeautyCamera
    Selfie Camera
    Downloads: 10M, developer: InShot Inc.

  4. Z Beauty Camera
    Downloads: 5M, developer: GOMO

These are just a few camera apps that reportedly hold people's data at risk and there's obviously other applications that do this, not just camera apps.

To stop malware you can install a form of virus protection, multiple anti-viruses are available. You might be thinking if it's anti-virus, it should do as the title says, right? Well…not always! There have been reports of 'anti-viruses' that claim to find malware and tell the user to download software which will presumably clean it, but unfortunately when downloaded, it led to an immense load of pop-up alerts, warnings, and disabling of the utility system.

Keep your anti-virus software updated. If not, your device may be vulnerable to malicious attacks.

Here's a list of apps which have been reported for having malicious intent

TikTok According to the New York Times, security researchers identified a series of software flaws which opened a door of attacks. These faults let hackers send legitimate-looking text messages with links to malicious software. This has been patched. This shows TikTok are making sure their users safe from getting infected with malicious files, but it also how easy it is for someone to hack you on a fairly new platform.

Compass (developer: Haken) This Google Play Store app has been reported on forbes.com for its code to bypass Google's Play Protect. This also applies to these apps:

Kids Coloring
QRcode
Fruits Coloring Book
Soccer Coloring
Boo
Fruit Jump Towe
Ball Number Shooter
Inongdan
This has since been removed. It got detected by Check Point after 50K installs.

Tag '20 interviewed student C, age 19, who was hacked

Do you know why the hackers did it?
I don't know. I think it might've been the websites that I go on through Facebook which gave me a virus.
How did you feel?
Scared, embarrassed and I had a panic attack.
What steps did you take in order to avoid it happening again?

I changed my password and stayed away from dodgy websites and other things that would get me hacked.
What have you learnt from this?
To be more careful on Facebook and don't believe everything you see as it might be a scam or a virus.
What would you tell those who are experiencing what you experienced?
To be more careful and change your password as soon as possible.