How To Prevent Downloading Malware Through Mobile Apps
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How To Prevent Downloading Malware Through Mobile Apps

Downloading apps does not seem like a dangerous activity, especially in companies where there are many time-saving apps that can increase a business's bottom line when used properly. However, there are risks involved with downloading apps on mobile devices. Hackers can attempt to trick the user into downloading a malicious app under the guise of being something else. These apps often appear to be wholesome—perhaps even from a trusted brand or individual—but are malware masked as something safe. Therefore, proceeding cautiously when downloading apps is essential for the protection of the confidential data on the device itself.

So what can a company do to try and minimize the risk of an employee downloading a malicious app?

Here are some tips:

Stress the importance of Downloading Apps from Official App Stores

Official app stores are a safe bet when downloading apps. Employees can access official app stores on their mobile devices, desktop computer, or laptop. These include Google Play, Apple's App Store, and the Microsoft Store. Avoid third-party app stores at all costs. These app stores aren't regulated and are often the source of malicious malware.

Limit Location Permissions

Many apps request permission to access the user's location. Whether using a mapping app to find directions or a tracker to record your location, the app may request permission to access your current location. Hackers can use an app's ability to access your location to track someone down in the real world. Using fake apps that request access to your employee's location can also be a way to gain access to the information stored on their device. Unless required, make sure employees limit the ability of apps to access location by denying the request. This will make detecting malware threat monitoring easier.

Update The Mobile Device Software Regularly

Updating the software on employees' mobile devices regularly will close out any vulnerabilities that hackers could potentially exploit to get access to the device. If an update patches a security vulnerability, hackers will likely try to exploit the app. However, if updated regularly, it will close that vulnerability and make it difficult for hackers to access personal data from the device.

Install Anti-malware Apps

Technology advancements have led to a more advanced form of antivirus software known as anti-malware. Anti-malware apps are great for detecting malicious apps that may have slipped past your employee's defenses. These apps will scan the mobile device for malicious apps and attempt to remove them. 

Review What Permissions Your Apps Have

Apps occasionally request specific permissions when first downloaded. This can include location, contacts, microphone, camera, and more. If the app requests unnecessary permissions make sure employees know not to allow it! 

Backup Sensitive Information Regularly

It’s important to have any sensitive information stored on an employee's mobile device backed up if malware targets the device and results in a data breach. If malware does manage to sneak into the device and access sensitive information, you can remove the information from the compromised device and restore it to a non-compromised device.

Device Encryption

Keep your company devices encrypted at all times. Due to advancements in information technology, mobile operating systems, such as iOS and Android, have built-in encryption functionality. If a malicious app attempts to gain access to your employee's device, but it's not encrypted correctly, the app will not be able to access the data. This effectively disarms the malicious app and protects the data on your device. 

Encourage Limiting Activity on Public Wi-Fi Networks

Employees may be at risk of downloading malicious apps while using public Wi-Fi networks. They are often unsecured networks and can be exploited by hackers to steal information. If accessing public Wi-Fi, inform employees to avoid conducting sensitive activities like logging into bank accounts or accessing their email account.

Get in Touch

Need more tips or cybersecurity solutions for your business? Contact a 10X team member by calling 704-931-1056 or email: Sales@10xcg.com.


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