What started as fun and games is now an essential part of life today. Everyday we need these apps to help us navigate life. From friendships, banking, maps, reminders, music, connecting with people in other continents, to watching movies and TV.
While this is all positives efficiencies for our lives, we have to deal with the few bad ones that create headaches for us. From a cyber-security standpoint, here are 8 apps you need to remove from your phone to stay secure.
1. Games and Puzzle Apps
We enjoy those quick to download mostly free puzzle and games apps. Sadly, many of them invade our phones with hidden malwares. They move to spread malware fast to as many people as possible. From Shooting Run, Money Destroyer to Helicopter Shoot and many more. Here’s a list of 20 game apps you need to remove from your phone ASAP.
Aside from the malware, the games are grabbing much more than you realize or would want them to. Since this is popular, let’s talk about it; Words With Friends WWF.
The WWF game collects the following data: Contacts, locations, browsing history, purchases, user content, identifiers, and other info. Stay vigilant or play another game.
2. QR code scanners
Every 3rd party scanning app is useless and clogs up your phone. They collect information and data from your phone without you realizing it. The phone manufacturer and processors have created built-in native apps to do the same job.
With the recent Covid-19 pandemic, businesses are required to provide added protection and mitigate the contagion by making may things touch-less. For example, most restaurants and eating places limit giving out menus, rather they provide a QR code that a patron can scan to view the menu.
To scan a QR code on your Iphone, open the camera app, however over the code. Your smartphone is smart for this very reason and will automatically direct you to the code’s link.
For Android users, it’s the exact same process.
3. CamScanner for Iphone and Android
This a major one for businesses. Professionals and students both are quick to download this app for both Iphone and Android. It’s actually an incredible app when it comes to its ease of use. They so far as to provide a scannable template so employees can fill out new hire paperwork quickly, scan and upload sensitive documents.
I used to do the same. I would even use it to scan my social security card, driver’s license, passport, banking and financial documents. Ohalalala, what a mistake!
Back in 2019, cybersecurity researchers found malicious code in the Android version of the PDF creator app. This was a trojan horse case as the code came from a 3rd party advertising app. They have since, removed it, fixed it, and put it back in the Google Play store.
A safe alternative to 3rd party scanning apps are built-in native apps. For instance, Iphone users can use the Notes app, already on the phone to do everything a 3rd party scanning app would do.
Android users, use the Google Drive app. Hit the + icon in the corner, then tap scan. Et voila! You have a safely scanned document.
4. Do you really need to fax still?
I asked my teenager kid if he knew what a fax machine was and he was scratching his head. Most people no longer use fax to transmit documents, however, a few remaining “slow adaptors” are still faxing documents back and forth.
Not anyone I know, but for those of you who are still faxing, researchers have found exposed cloud storage access keys that allowed access to faxed documents. Malicious malware could gain access to hundreds of thousands of users and access sensitive info you’ve Ifaxed.
Some safer alternatives are FaxZero, which is free if you send no more than 5 pages per day. eFax gives you a virtual fax number to receive up to 10 faxed pages per month.
5. Screen Recorders are not all safe
This feature has revolutionized many things in the world and is very efficient. With this efficiency improvement comes a potential open backend for cybercriminals.
Screen recorder has over 10 millions downloads and exposes recordings from users. The app is sitting on a cloud service which is convenient could have ramifications if the developers embed the secret and access keys to the same service that stores those recordings.
You don’t need the 3rd party screen recording app, just use the built-in native screen recording app.
6. Facebook, the giant date eater
Facebook is in the top 5 richest companies in the world. It also has the most populous members of any online platform. Facebook is more populous than many countries.
Is used to be that oil companies were the wealthiest however, Big Data is now the new oil. Our information is beyond valuable to the Tech giants and Facebook is the mother of them all.
What information does Facebook collect from you?
- Your contacts
- Your text messages
- Your call logs
- Your location
- Your camera (yes they can see through your camera)
- Your microphone (yes they can hear you)
What else does Facebook track?
- What you visit online
- Where you go physically
- What you buy
- What you’re searching for
Normally, the main reason Facebook collects this information is to make your online experience better and more precise. This way, the ads and content you see are the ones related to what you already like or could need.
The problem comes into play when leaks occur such it has already more than once with Facebook data. Stay away if you don’t need to have Facebook.
7. Logo Maker is not safe
Check Point research found an open, real-time database inside Logo Maker, the free graphic design and logo templates. The popular nails it when it comes to features and is loved by many.
The exposure Logo Maker includes, email address and passwords. If you don’t already do this, remember to set different passwords instead of using the same credentials for all 40 platforms you access.