Android users need to be extra careful when jumping aboard the Instagram bandwagon in the coming days and weeks, as it has been reported that a rogue fake of the app is doing the rounds.
The fake Instagram – Finstagram, we’re calling it – contains harmful malware which can send your private data to whoever is controlling it. Finstagram will also sneakily send text messages to premium rate numbers without your consent, thus running up a large phone bill for you.
Thankfully it’s not all that easy to download this harmful app, as it isn’t in the Google Play Store, or Market. The app has been doing the rounds online and can be easily downloaded and transferred to your Android phone, so beware. If it’s not in the Play Store, don’t download it!
A quick search for Instagram in the official Play Store will bring up a few results but only one app is called Instagram; the real deal with over 459,000 ratings.
Security firm Trend Micro believes this app to be particularly harmful and says there are many more out there masquerading as popular Android apps, such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja.
A fake Angry Birds Space app recently managed to worm its way into the Google Play Store, making it much more presentable and likely to be downloaded by thousands. That app contained harmful malware too, although security experts were quick to jump on it and Google thankfully quick to remove it.
If you’re in any doubt when downloading an app for your phone, firstly make sure you’re downloading it from the Play Store or Android Market on your phone. This is the official store and it’s preloaded onto your phone from the moment you get it. Secondly, if there are multiple apps shown when you do a search, check which one has the highest ratings and most downloads – it’s going to be the real deal.