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Android and iPhone users warned over five ‘red flags’ that indicate an app could be malicious

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Smartphone owners are bing warned over five dangerous signs that could indicate an app is malicious.

Cybersecurity firm McAfee last week issued a memo that said anyone with an iPhone or Android device could fall victim to a hacked app.

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It warned that dangerous apps would often request permission for features they shouldn’t generally require.

“Requests for permissions such as these aren’t a sign of an invasive app in and of themselves,” it said.

“Some apps require them to work.

“The telltale sign of an invasive app is when the app asks for permissions it doesn’t need.

“Think like the flashlight app that wants access to your microphone.”

Smartphone owners are bing warned over five dangerous signs that could indicate an app is malicious. Credit: PAUL BRAVEN/AAPIMAGE

There are five common “permissions” that malicious apps will request.

They are:

  • Using your camera
  • Accessing your microphone
  • Tracking your location
  • Accessing and modifying your contacts
  • Reading your calendar

If the malicious app gets access to something it shouldn’t, it could silently monitor a user’s mobile movements.

“The tricky bit with invasive apps is that many people quickly click through the user agreements and permission screens when they get a new app,” the McAfee security expert wrote.

“Sometimes without reading carefully. That can particularly be the case with children grabbing a new app.

“However, it’s never too late to spot an invasive app. And remove it.”

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