woman looking upset while looking at her cellphone

Deception NEVER Takes A Vacation


Meet Amanda. She is in her late twenties, hardworking and ambitious. The attorneys in her office say that Amanda is like the energizer bunny—she NEVER stops.

Like most litigators, Amanda reads tons of papers, all in “legalize.” But she loves it.

Working for a large national law firm is challenging. She travels, picks up new cases, or consults with colleagues on high-profile cases. But, she’s a genius—and always in demand.

But not today. Amanda is going on a long overdue vacation. Even her boss told her to take it easy and enjoy herself. So that is what Amanda intends to do. She booked a 14-day cruise out of Miami.

Relax! What Can Go Wrong?

Amanda is not big on games. Who has the time? But, she heard of one involving numbers and logic called Sudoku. At the airport, Amanda stopped at a magazine store and saw a rack full of Sudoku books. She thought, “How lame. Why not use an app?” So, she left the store without buying anything.

As she settled in her seat at the gate, Amanda headed to the Play Store on her Android phone and looked up Sudoku. There were hundreds, so she picked one. It had five stars—it must be good—right?

Once downloaded, she was disappointed to see that it wasn’t very good at all. The app had so many glitches that it was unusable. “Must be a knock-off,” she thought. Amanda downloaded a new one without deleting the old app. Then boarded her flight.

Trouble In Paradise

Amanda arrived in Miami, boarded her ship, and signed up for the ship’s Wi-Fi.


Amanda’s phone started having performance issues as soon as she logged onto the ship’s Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, she didn’t realize that her phone was infected with malware. As a result, her personal information, and account data, were stolen.

Amanda’s friends started receiving emails with infected links. So not only was Amanda’s data on the Dark Web, but also her friends who clicked the link in the bogus emails—one of them was her boss!

Did you spot the red flags?

  • Just because an app has five stars doesn’t mean it is legitimate. Look at the number of ratings, as well. Popular apps typically have thousands of ratings.
  • Amanda picked an app at random without any investigation. Look for apps that thoroughly explain what they do and include privacy practices.
  • Amanda did not delete the app or warn others after having issues with it.


Phones today are more powerful than computers of old. Most people have all their personal information on their phones. Bogus apps can steal your data. Once done, it is a very short leap to identity theft.


  • Cybercriminals make apps that look identical to real ones. Look at visuals and logos on the app description page. If downloaded, these apps can deliver malware.
  • Look out for apps that are difficult to close or contain ads to suspicious sites. Research and read app reviews before downloading.
  • Use two-factor authentication and strong passwords for app stores and the apps themselves.
  • Always use a trusted VPN when on Public Wi-Fi. Do not upload or download personal information or log onto confidential sites.

Be vigilant. Be safe.

XSolutions is an IT Services Provider serving New York (NY), New Jersey (NJ), and Connecticut (CT). We provide Managed IT Services | Managed IT Security | Backup & Disaster Recovery| Cloud Data Protection | Security Awareness Training. Call (845) 362-9675 for a free consultation.