# **3 types of dangerous apps to break into smartphones** **Network experts warn there are 3 types of apps commonly used to break into smartphones.** Important is knowing the signs to look out for on Android and iPhone – otherwise you’re in danger online. Billions of people around the world use apps, so they’re often used by crooks to inject malicious code into smartphones. Once your device has been compromised, crooks can spy on you, extract enough information to defraud or extort money, or directly steal your money. The US Sun told Paige Mullen, a criminologist and cybercrime consultant at Advanced Cyber Defense Systems, about one of the most common types of apps used by cybercriminals. Fake antivirus apps are a popular choice for crooks to break into your device. “Some of the common types of Android/iPhone apps that mask malware/spyware include fake anti-virus apps that claim to protect against malware,” said Paige. “When, in fact, they’re doing the exact opposite.” Fraudsters will often let you download these apps from the internet – rather than from the official app stores. That’s easy to do on an Android phone, but it can also be done on a compromised “jailbroken” iPhone that allows a way to download apps outside of the official store. However, dangerous apps can also appear on the official Apple App Store or Google Play Store stores. So even though it’s safer to use these stores, you should always be careful when downloading apps. Of course, hacked antivirus apps aren’t the only dangerous ones you need to watch out for. “Banking apps that contain malicious code can also be disguised as legitimate and mimic the look of a trusted bank,” explains Mr. Paige. “They often ask you to log in and steal your credentials to use for illegal purposes.” And there’s a third type of app you should be aware of: **tracking apps**. That’s because they often ask for permissions that appear to be legitimate – but are quietly exploiting your personal information or media. “Spyware applications are particularly dangerous, they can be masquerading as any kind of application, especially one that provides ‘useful’ tracking capabilities,” said Paige. “They are often used to steal personal information and monitor behavior without the user’s permission.” It is important to be careful when downloading anti-virus, banking, or “tracking” applications. Watch for suspicious signs and delete the app immediately if you are concerned. Evidence that an app can be dangerous includes asking for questionable permissions (like unnecessary camera or microphone access), sudden slow performance or severe battery drain, or an app that doesn’t do the right thing. it needs to do. You should also check the app reviews to see if other people have reported any issues.