From Samsung to Oppo, Android smartphones are some of the most popular devices on the market.
But if you use and Android smartphone, you may want to reassess which apps you have on your device.
Researchers from Barracuda Networks have warned that thousands of Christmas-themed apps have ‘significant’ security flaws , that could let them steal your personal details.
Researcher Fleming Shi said: “While cybersecurity is always a concern, at this time of year in particular, cybercriminals are looking to take advantage of distracted shoppers who let down their guard, especially those using mobile phones.
“The holidays can lead to increases in a variety of threats; in the busy rush to get good deals, shoppers may be less conscious of who they’re buying from and more likely to miss red flags.”
The researchers used Barracuda’s Advanced Threat Protection service to analys more than 4,200 Christmas apps, including shopping apps and games.
Their analysis revealed that seven apps exhibited malicious behaviour, while 35 contained adware.
Meanwhile, 165 apps were found to have excessive or dangerous combinations or permissions that could allow them to gather and steal personal details.
Based on the findings Barracuda is urging users to only download apps from official recognised marketplaces and to check the details of apps.
Mr Shi added: “Look at user reviews (or lack thereof) and how long the app has been around. Be aware of the permissions you’re granting, especially suspicious ones that can put your personal data and contacts at risk, regardless of whether the app itself is malicious.
“Consider whether granting the permissions make sense based on the nature of the app. For example, a shopping app shouldn’t generally require the ability to read or write text messages or access your phone.
“Likewise, most simple games shouldn’t require any permissions at all. After you’ve downloaded and installed an app, you can often block specific permissions from the settings.”