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How to Avoid Malware on TikTok and Instagram

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TikTok’s days as a viable social media platform might be numbered, at least in the U.S. (unless something changes before Trump’s recent executive order kills it for good), but the app still works for now, and its massive user base is as active as ever. And that includes shady app developers who are using the platform to spread scams and malware.

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A child in the Czech Republic recently reported a suspicious app and the accounts distributing them to Avast’s Be Safe Online program, prompting a deeper investigation. Avast found numerous TikTok and Instagram profiles being used to promote malicious apps. Some install adware on your device, and others attempt to scam people into making unnecessary in-app purchases. They’re easy to trace, though, as they were all made or distributed by the same developers on iOS and Android.

The shady apps Avast discovered include:

Android

  • Tap Roulette ++Shock my Friend
  • ThemeZone – Shawky App Free – Shock My Friends
  • Ultimate Music Downloader – Free Download Music

iOS

  • 666 Time
  • shock my friend tap roulette v
  • Shock My Friends – Satuna
  • ThemeZone – Live Wallpapers

These apps have many of the hallmarks of fake or malware-laden products: incomprehensible SEO-padded titles, redundant or unnecessary features, and in-app purchases for content that’s freely available elsewhere. Avast also found at least three TikTok accounts and one Instagram account promoting the apps, some of which had over 300,000 followers.

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As Avast writes:

“The apps are specifically targeted to young people, in the form of games, wallpaper, and music downloaders. The scams come in the form of either charging $2 to $10 for a service that doesn’t meet that price point — including causing the phone to vibrate, a wallpaper, or access to music — or in the form of aggressive ads. Some are HiddenAds trojans, which are apps that appear to be legitimate, but actually only exist to serve up advertisements outside of the app. HiddenAd trojans also have a built in hide-app timer, making it difficult to determine where the advertisements are coming from.”

Apple and Google will likely ban the apps from their stores, which will disable them from being installed on most devices (you’ll need to delete them manually if they were sideloaded), and the TikTok and Instagram accounts will probably be removed if they weren’t already.

That doesn’t mean the threat is gone, though. Unfortunately, TikTok, Instagram, and other social media platforms are easy avenues for distributing scams, malware, and phishing campaigns, so threats like these will probably always exist.

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It’s ultimately up to you to keep yourself safe, but you might want to reach out to the younger, hipper, more TikTok/’gram-crazy members of your household to give them a helpful refresh on device security. Those more prone to blindly tapping prompts on their devices could benefit from a helpful lesson about permissions, too: what different kinds of apps typically should be asking to access in order to do whatever they are supposed to so, and what requests are red flags for potential security and privacy violations. If an app requests a lot of money to enable a pointless feature, that’s a good sign it’s a scam, too.

If you need a refresher, we have assembled tips for spotting shady apps, phishing schemes, malware, and other online scams. If you’re a parent, make sure you’re always including data security and malware in your discussions of internet safety with your children.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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