Certain apps may be putting your Android device at risk

/ Source: TODAY

A security alert for tens of millions of Android users: You could be downloading apps that are actually the work of hackers. And you'd be shocked when you see what they can do.

Statement from Google in response to this story:

A few additional things you can do to keep your device safe in general: And ‎more in our help center.

  1. Secure your device by setting a screen lock with a PIN, password, or pattern. Each time you turn on your device or wake up the screen, you’ll be asked to unlock your device. Go to Settings > Security > Screen lock.
  2. Be prepared if you ever lose your phone by confirming Android Device Manager is set up on your device. Make sure to sign in with your Google Account and turn on "Remotely locate this device" and "Allow remote lock and erase." You can also try out the "find my phone" feature so you know how it works in case you need it in the future.
  3. Encryption helps keep your data safe if you lose your device. Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 devices are encrypted by default. If your Android device is running Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) or higher, you can encrypt the data on your device in Settings > Security > Encrypt phone. Tip: If you're planning to sell your device, you can encrypt it as an additional precaution before erasing your information from it (also known as doing a factory data reset).
  4. Some apps can affect your device’s security, so only download them from places you trust. We work to make sure that all apps available on Google Play pass stringent policy checks, including checks for potentially harmful behavior. If you have Google Play installed, you're automatically protected from potentially harmful apps with the Verify Apps feature. It's turned on by default and warns you before you install an application we believe is potentially harmful. It'll also check your device about once a week for potentially harmful apps. If you see a warning from Verify Apps, we recommend not installing that app.