Mobile apps can expose you to theft, hacking: TRA official
Dubai - Ahli advised to download apps only from a trusted app store and never from a third-party source.
Downloading mobile apps from a third-party app store or doubtful source will not only infect your smartphone but will also expose you to theft and security risks, the UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) warned.
"Some apps contain malware, a software that is capable of stealing your private information," Abdulla Ahli, information security analyst at the TRA, said on Thursday during a podcast on social media awareness campaign by Khaleej Times and the TRA.
Ahli advised to download apps only from a trusted app store and never from a third-party source. But it's also possible to download an app from one of the official app stores and have your device exposed to malware.
In this regard, Ahli said to take extra precaution by examining the app settings.
"There are preventive solutions. One is to switch off the location settings or put it on only when the app is in use and also not allowing the app to have access to photo or video galleries," he added.
Ahli said smartphone users should be wary of apps asking any information.
He warned that mobile apps from unreliable sources could enable hackers to take control of someone's device and provide online predators access to contacts, passwords, and even financial accounts.
"These apps can collect your precise GPS location, account, and activity information from your device - before sending it to untrustworthy sources.
Giving away your exact location can also be used by intruders to rob your house because they will know when you are away" he added.
The TRA also noted that some malicious apps are posing as legitimate apps with complex functionality.
These evolving threats - spyware, malware, risky apps, and untrustworthy links-pose a risk for users when you consider how integral mobile is to our daily activities.
Ahli underlined that the most important safeguard against malicious mobile apps is to be constantly vigilant.
To mitigate potential risks, it is also important to deny access to personal information and data.