With more than 2 billion active Android phones in the world, the Google Play store has become a breeding ground for bad actors to create malicious apps to prey on naive users.

In the latest report by VPN Pro, 24 malware-laced applications have been detected on the Play store. Most of them masquerade as a performance booster, offer weather information, fun activities such as crossword, puzzles, VPN (Virtual Private Network), battery life extender, private browser, and utility service tools for phones.

However, they never do the duty they advertise, instead, seek critical permissions such as access to the SMS inbox, call logs, and try to harvest data and send it to servers located in China. 

Also, they also launch browser windows and trick the user to click on ads, and/or sign them up for expensive premium phone services causing financial losses to the victims. As per the latest report, combined installation of 382 millions across the world.

All the apps are understood to be developed in China and VPN Pro notified the issues to Google and the latter has removed them from Play store.

Must read | Trojan alert: Hackers misuse Coronavirus outbreak to spread PC malware

But, users who have already installed, must remove them individually from their  Android phones immediately.

Check if you have installed any of these malware-laced Android apps: HI VPN, Free VPN, Soccer Pinball, Dig It, Laser Break, Word Crush, Music Roam, Word Crossy!, Puzzle Box, World Zoo, Private Browser, Calendar Lite, Turbo Browser, Joy Launcher, Virus Cleaner 2019, Super Cleaner, Hi Security 2019, Candy Selfie Camera, Super Battery, Candy Gallery, Hi VPN Pro, Net Master, filemanager, Sound Recorder and Weather Forecast.

Here’s how you can safeguard your phone from malware and trojans:
1) Whether you have an Android mobile or iOS-based iPhone or  Windows-powered PCs or Mac computer, always update your devices with the latest software. All three Google, Microsoft, and Apple send regularly send firmware — especially security patches monthly or on a priority basis, whenever they detect threats. So, make sure you install the latest software
2) Another good practice is to install a premium Antivirus software, which offers 24×7 protection. They are equipped to detect threats quickly whenever you unknowingly visit a shady website
3) Never ever open emails or SMS and click URL links sent from unknown senders 
4) Also, never install apps or software from unfamiliar publishers
5) Always download apps from Google Play or Apple App Store or Windows Store only. Never install from any third-party app store

Get the latest news on new launches, gadget reviews, apps, cyber security and more on personal technology only on DH Tech.

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