Social media giant, Meta (formerly Facebook), has detected at least 400 apps that Android and iOS users must avoid. According to a recent warning, top security experts and software engineers at the social media company, David Agranovich and Ryan Victory named 400 apps designed to hurt the Facebook privacy of their users.
These malicious apps — mostly photo editors, business tools, and phone utilities — have been coded to ask users to connect to Facebook before granting access to several services. When users log into their Facebook accounts through these apps, the apps save their login credentials and later acquire unlawful access to the users’ accounts.
In addition to removing these apps from their app stores, Apple and Google have put in place many measures to prevent a repeat of this issue. These apps, however, can also be found on third-party platforms that are generally beyond the scope of any cleanup efforts.
Facebook suggests that app users evaluate apps based on the following questions.
How Reputable is the App?
The higher an app’s reputation is, the less likely it is to be malware disguised as a regular app. Users can find out an app’s reputation by the number of downloads, the opinion of users who have reviewed the app, and its ratings.
Does the App Compel You to “Login With Facebook” to Access Certain Features?
Malicious applications will typically restrict access to certain features unless users log in to their social media accounts.
Does the App Deliver on its Promise After You Have Logged in?
After logging in to Facebook, malware disguised as an app will usually fail to deliver on its promised features.
How Affected Users Can Safeguard Their Accounts
Users who have logged in to any of the apps on this list with their Facebook account are advised to first delete the application from their phone. Next, users should secure their Facebook accounts by changing their passwords. Then, consider enabling two-factor authentication and a login alert from Facebook.