Android, how safe is it? Security experts slam malicious apps

Security experts say the threat of hackers and malicious apps is now more prominent than ever when it comes to Google’s Android platform. 

According to Trend Micro’s TrendLabs, the number of malicious apps circulating the operating system has increased from 10,000 to 20,000 in a single month.

While malware is nothing new, with consumers using their smartphones as tools for increasingly sensitive material - such as online banking - Trend Micro warns that the threat, serious or not, needs to be considered.

TrendLabs claims 30 per cent of the malicious apps it tracked were disguised as well known legitimate applications. Indeed, the firm says that Google Play, Android’s official app store, inadvertently offered 17 different malicious apps that were downloaded a total of 700,000 times by consumers.

However, that's only 17 apps among thousands. It must be pointed out that the odds of finding malware on Google Play is very rare.

The real danger lies with third-party app stores, especially those that are not moderated. So our advice would be to take extra care when downloading apps, be it on any mobile platform or computer OS. If something doesn’t look right, whether it's a random typo, or askew logo, then be better safe than sorry and avoid.

Has your smartphone been the victim of malware? Tell us what happened in the comments below...