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Expect over a million malicious Android apps by 2014

Anyone who has been following the steady growth of Android should be a little impressed by the constantly rising statistics. However, the rapid spread and popularization of the Android operating system has its share of downfalls: most notably the number of malicious apps and exploits that are out there. In fact, by the end of the year, there’s expected to be over a million malicious apps. 

SIM Hacker
You don't have to take out your SIM and turn off your phone to be completely protected from malware. © AndroidPIT

With a larger and larger percentage of the mobile operating system market share, Android is starting to become more and more attractive to programmers and hackers alike.  With almost 80% of the global smartphone market share and the Google Play Store providing more apps that Apple’s App Store since the beginning of the year, it’s no wonder it’s getting more attention.

However, a malware problem has followed along with this rapid growth and we see reports of it time and time again as the days go on. A report down by cyber analysts Trend Micro, has made the call out that we should expect over a million malicious Android apps the be out there by the end of the year. Most of these apps mimic the design of popular apps, but their goal is to prominently push expensive additional services (44 percent of malicious apps out there) or steal private data (24 percent).

A major problem with the rapid increase of the malicious apps, combined with the relatively high openness of the Android system, is the lack of security consciousness by many Android users (…or really, security ignorance). The installation of anti-virus software is an important step towards the safety of your mobile device, but one that isn’t heeded as often as it should. To add to the problem, the number of malware apps that are disguised as anti-virus software has increase exponentially over that last little while as well!

cyberhacker keyboard
 © Gerd Altman/, nh/AndroidPIT

So, what can you do? In fact, the installation of an anti-virus program is not always necessary. In most cases, common sense and a good deal of caution and skepticism is enough. You should always check all the permissions you are giving apps before installing them and if you find something a little wonky, don’t install it. Google Play also provides a good gatekeeper for this kind of thing.

Safety is paramount with your mobile device and this should be true for many things in life, not just on Android. Always be aware of what you’re installing on your device and how it may access your information. 

Source: Fox News

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