Apps cause of most data leakages: Kaspersky

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The Kaspersky lab in Russia
PHOTO/COURTESY: Kaspersky

Multinational cyber security and anti-virus provider Kaspersky Lab has identified mobile applications downloaded from the internet as one of the major causes of unintentional data leakage.

According to the cyber security firm granting permissions to mobile applications downloaded on the internet without performing necessary security checks can leave users vulnerable to attacks such as phishing, ransom ware and spyware.

“Apps pose a real problem for mobile users, who give them sweeping permissions, but don’t always check security. These are typically free apps found in official app stores that perform as advertised, but also send personal – and potentially corporate – data to a remote server, where it is mined by advertisers or even cybercriminals,” Riaan Badenhorst the General Manager for Kaspersky in Africa said in an official statement.

“Granting limitless permissions to these platforms allows the app makers possible, and even legal, access to what should remain confidential data. When this sensitive data is hacked or misused, a viral app can turn a source into a loophole which hackers can exploit to spread malicious viruses or ransomware,” Badenhorst added.

Accordingly to Kaspersky approximately 63 percent of consumers do not read license agreements when downloading apps while 43% just tick all privacy permissions when they are installing the apps on their phone leaving them susceptible to cyber threats.

A recent report by The Daily Express for example showed that 6 Android apps, that were downloaded a staggering 90 million times from the Google Play Store, were found to have been loaded with the PreAMo malware while surveillance malware was also loaded onto fake versions of Android apps such as Evernote, Google Play and Skype.

In order to avert potential cyber breaches, Kaspersky has advised mobile phone users to remain vigilant when installing the applications. Prior to downloading the applications mobile users should first read the reviews and ratings of the programs. If a customer decides to download a specific app it should only be from a trusted source.

The customer should similarly ensure that they read the license agreements of the apps carefully and pay attention to the list of permissions the apps are requesting. Kaspersky advises customers to only give apps permissions they absolutely insist on and forgo any programme that asks for more consents than necessary. Finally for an additional security layer smart phone users should ensure that their mobile devices have a a security solution installed in them.

RELATED: Kaspersky ranks Kenya as ninth most vulnerable country in mobile malware attacks

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