Not only in the Google Play Store, but also in the Apple App Store, you can occasionally find dangerous applications that can cause serious problems for users. These include, for example, the following applications that should be removed. They can be dangerous in different ways.

Delete app: pay attention to these 5 copies

If there is a questionable application on your cell phone, deleting it is always a recommended reaction. Anyone who has an iPhone or iPad can feel a little safer because Apple monitors the apps in its App Store very carefully and makes sure that potentially dangerous copies don't even get in.

Android users, on the other hand, are at greater risk from malware and criminals. These can more easily bypass security measures and inject software into the Play Store for download via third-party sources. Therefore, special caution is required when using a smartphone with the Google operating system.

In any case, it is important to read reviews and ratings before downloading any app that piques your interest. A malicious app can be enough to hack you and steal your data. For example, experts recommend avoiding the following five apps.

Note: The mentioned apps have already been removed from the app stores. However, if you don't know the risks, you can still use them.

#1 SuperVPN

This is not the first time the app has attracted the attention of experts. In 2020, it was recommended to remove the SuperVPN app. And recently, in 2023, analysts concluded that it is “one of the most dangerous and unreliable free VPNs we have tested.”

The reasons for this are varied: the app has “invasive registration processes, weak security features, worrying connections to China, and cannot unblock web content.” Warn against using this VPN or recommend “uninstalling it immediately.”

#2 noise

This application is a well-known editor for video and music editing. It was downloaded around 100 million times on the Google Play Store in 2023. According to Bleeping Computer, the app was later found to contain malicious software that could put your device at risk.

More specifically, it is a relatively new malware for Android called “SpinOk” that is capable of stealing private data stored on users' devices and sending it to a remote server. Simulate mini-games to arouse user interest.

While displayed in the app, the malware performs malicious functions in the background, including listing data in directories, searching for specific information, uploading files from the device, or copying and replacing clipboard contents.

#3 Fake ChatGPT Apps

Thanks to the overwhelming popularity of the ChatGPT AI bot, it was inevitable that fake variants would emerge, some of which contained malicious code. Recently, a fake ChatGPT app introduced malware to many users' PCs.

It is also important not to fall for fake Open AI ChatGPT applications, which can be found in both the Google Play Store and the App Store. They often look exactly like the original. However, they may contain so-called fleece material that tries to steal your money.

#4 Essential horoscope

Many horoscope apps are simply fun for their users. In the case of Essential Horoscope for Android, this assumption translated into over 100,000 downloads on Google Play. However, McAfee experts discovered that the application contained malware called Xamalicious.

This takes advantage of the open source Xamarin framework to hide on infected devices. It can then take full control to carry out fraudulent actions without the consent of those affected. This includes, for example, secretly installing other applications.

#5 UC Web Browser

This browser is only available for Android and belongs to the Chinese company Alibaba through its development company UCWeb. However, according to cybersecurity experts, the app does not adequately protect data transfers, as Shefinds explains. This can leave personal information vulnerable to criminals and attacks.

Sources: top10vpn, Bleeping Computer, McAfee, Shefinds

By Dana Neumann