Anyone with a smartphone should be on the look-out for snooping apps. Speaking to The U.S. Sun, a cyber-expert has revealed the “red flags” that an app is silently spying on you.
Snooping apps can strike on any device – even your Android or iPhone.
While they’re rare and you may never be targeted, it’s possible you already have one lurking on your device.
Keeping an eye out for these suspicious signs can help you avoid apps that silently spy on you.
“If an iPhone or Android app requests access to device features that don’t make sense for what the app does, it could be intentionally or unintentionally collecting more information than it should,” said Kristina Balaam, a Senior Threat Researcher at Lookout.
“This could be a case of poor application security or it’s a sign of malicious activity.
“Newer versions of operating systems will typically notify users when an app wants to access certain features, such as location or camera.
“But if the app doesn’t need access for its intended function or you’re seeing a request for access at a time that doesn’t make sense (for example, requesting location data when you’re not using a map), it’s a red flag.”
Permissions allow apps to work properly: Google Maps needs your location and Instagram needs your camera or photos to offer a full set of features.
But some apps may be using (or abusing) permissions that they don’t really need.
Thankfully it’s very easy to check on the permissions being used by apps.
This will reveal how apps are using the permissions that you’ve granted to them.
And you’ll be able to see their network activity too.
You can also go to Settings > Privacy & Security and tap on tabs like Microphone or Camera to see which apps can access them.
On recent versions of iOS, you’ll be alerted with an orange or green dot when an app is accessing your microphone or camera.
That’s where you’ll be able to find permissions (like location or camera) and see which apps are using them.
If anything looks suspicious, you may be a victim of silent stalking.
Consider deleting suspicious apps from your device, especially if you don’t really use them or they have poor or low app store reviews.
Source: The Sun