Counterfeit Phone Apps
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Monroe resident Marlon Quattlebaum has, get this, 63 apps on his smart phone. 63! But all that entertainment comes at a cost. He says, "I could be in the middle of a conversation or just texting and it just completely shuts down and restarts."
Quattlebaum is convinced he's inadvertently downloaded a virus to his phone. He says, "[It's] real frustrating, I miss a lot of calls and can't do a lot on it."
The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers who use Google's Android operating system about two counterfeit apps: one for Angry Birds Space and the other for Instagram.
If you download the counterfeits, you're really downloading Trojans that'll infect your phone with malware. Malware is software that'll damage or disable your phone's computer system. Quattlebaum wonders, "How can I tell what's real and what's not real?"
The BBB says it's not easy because the counterfeit apps look just like the real deal. The best way to protect yourself is to only download apps from Google Play, the official Android app store. Also, check the developer of the app. The real Angry Birds app is developed by Rovio and Instagram is developed by Instagram.
"I have TicketMaster, StubHub, bunch of games, Facebook, LinkedIn," says Charlotte visitor Blake Knoefel of his apps. He deletes the ones he doesn't use regularly and says he's not surprised that counterfeit apps are out there. "They're trying to make viruses for everything," he says.
As for Quattlebaum and his 63 apps, he says this about technology: "It's a good thing but it's also a bad thing."
One of the ways to try to remove malware from your smart phone is to restore the device to its factory settings. Check the user guide it came with or call your cell provider's tech help line.