Archives - Apps


Don’t sideload apps on Android

Depending on the device and OS version, it may be possible to sideload apps in Android. This simply means installing an app without going through an official app store. Sideloading can be dangerous since the app in question isn’t automatically vetted for security flaws or updated with the latest patches and fixes.

3 Tips for Better Android Security

Android is the most popular consumer computing platform in the world, used across billions of phones, tablets, smart TVs and other connected devices. However, its popularity and distinctive structure – under which carriers and manufacturers may heavily modify it – make it a magnet for cyberattacks. As an Android user, what can you do to […]

Keep WhatsApp and similar messaging apps up-to-date

Internet-based chat apps are generally safer than plain SMS (text) messages, but they’re not necessarily bulletproof. An exploit in WhatsApp, allowing malware injection, showed that even apps touting “end-to-end encryption” sometimes have vulnerabilities. To stay safe, apply any updates as soon as possible or – for particularly sensitive conversations – take them offline or use […]

Know all your apps

These terms are often used interchangeably but they refer to different threats. Viruses can self-replicate and spread easily through a computer or network. Ransomware is designed to hold data hostage by encrypting it and asking you to pay for the decryption key. Malware is a broad category that includes these two threats and many others.

Don’t assume an app is safe just because it came from an official app store

Downloading apps from official sources such as the Apple App Store and Google Play is far safer than sideloading apps or buying them from third-party stores. Still, even official apps can have their security compromised or be problematic for privacy. The best way to mitigate your risk is to check the permissions the apps ask […]

Use encrypted messaging apps instead of SMS when possible

Text messages, sent via carrier SMS, are fixtures of mobile communications. But they’ve lost ground to over-the-top (i.e., internet-based) services such as Apple iMessage, WhatsApp and Telegram. Those alternatives are not only more richly featured, but many have end-to-end encryption as well – something SMS and even its successor, RCS, do not support.