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Security & privacy

Warning: Check your computer for software that puts you at risk

Criminals are finding clever new ways to infect not only your smartphone with malware but also your PC. Tap or click here for steps to removing malware from your computer.

It’s not always malicious apps in third-party app stores causing the problems. Some legit apps become risky over time. After deep diving into more than 30,000 open-source repositories, cybersecurity experts at Veracode have come to a few startling conclusions.

Keep reading to find out what the team found in its 2023 State of Software Security Report.

Here’s the backstory

Software maven Veracode published a collection of security findings after analyzing some of the industry’s best and brightest. This includes many regarded as some of the safest programs available to the public.

After crunching the numbers, the firm determined that even relatively modern software may develop dangerous security flaws as months and years pass.

Veracode describes a honeymoon phase at the beginning of an application’s life. After the first sweep for bugs and other issues, the app’s reliability becomes very stable before the age of the application begins to show.

After this honeymoon period, a lot tends to happen. Companies are disbanded, teams of developers change or leave entirely, and new technology overtakes the foundation upon which the original application was built.

As these factors compound, older applications may be as much as 27% more likely to become dangerously unsafe. The longer software is around, the greater chance it has to become corrupt.

When it’s time to say goodbye

On average, Veracode’s honeymoon period lasts from the first significant scan to around 18 months after the debugged app was released. They deliver this warning with one big piece of advice: to scan all your apps at least once a month to see if they have become corrupt.

While many of the tactics described in the report appear to be geared more toward the engineers building the apps themselves, it’s still worth considering, even if you’re an average consumer. 

Keeping your apps up-to-date is a great way to stay safe. A newer alternative might be the way to go if an app no longer releases updates or new versions.

But the best advice is to have trusted antivirus software running and updated on all of your devices. We recommend our sponsor, TotalAV. Right now, get an annual plan with TotalAV for only $19 at ProtectWithKim.com. That’s over 85% off the regular price!

Keep reading

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