February 14 is supposed to be a day of love and happiness, almost to the point where you can hear Al Green singing to you at all times of the day, but if some nasty mobile software is downloaded, it could spell bad news and sadness for those involved.
Some new research from security group Bitdefender points out that some of the apps appearing on the Android marketplace known as the Google Play Store could reveal more than just cute little love hearts, with extra permissions being required from them to access on phones and tablets, such as web browsing history, contact lists, and even you’re actual location.
“Valentines Day 2014 Wallpaper” is one such app that comes with some of these required permissions, while “Love Letters for Chat Status” can even change and add events to your calendar, and send emails without your knowledge.
But while these Valentines mobile apps are one issue, they’re just a part of the problem, as scams and malware push out in numbers, ready to convince you to download them in exchange for a deal or a cute graphic.
“The Bitdefender anti-spam lab noticed a 10 per cent increase in PC scams overnight, with the malicious campaign hype set to continue and intensify for the next week,” said Loredana Botezatu.
“Fake diamond rings, flower arrangement deals, chocolate boxes and other online Valentine’s Day specials just might grab your online identity instead of your heart this year, turning your PC into a zombie in a botnet or steal credit card details.”
Aside for the obvious tip of having some form of internet security on both your mobile and desktop or laptop computer, BitDefender recommends being on the looking for discounts for Valentines gifts, ads for miracle diets, and matchmaking ads, because any of these things could end up in providing more than you wanted in the first place.
We’ll also suggest being weary of any link that looks too good to be true, because really, it’s unlikely anyone wants to give you discounts on expensive wine, chocolates, or luxurious watches, even if you do deserve it.