ANDROID phone users could be putting their devices at risk if they have installed certain programmes referred to as 'dead apps'.
This is according to a McAfee cyber security experts who are warning about the issue.
The term dead apps refers to applications which a user has previously downloaded but are now no longer available for download on the Google Play Store.
An app which is deemed malicious by Google may be deleted from the Play Store without any warning to Android owners who have already downloaded it.
These discontinued apps can still collect data and send it to third-parties without users knowing.
Google regularly emphasises the security of Android and regularly updates its software but Android owners are not always aware of the updates and the apps which are deemed as dangerous.
McAfee fellow and chief scientist Raj Samani told The Express: "If you're downloading an app from an authorised app store, it does not mean there is no chance the app is malicious.
"In fact Google is a great case in point, over the course of 2018 there has been a lot, I mean an awful lot of apps, a good couple hundred apps that we found as well that have malicious capabilities.
"Equally, you've got to also look at your phone and see if there are any dead apps as well. And I think that is the one thing they haven't done, Google, they haven't gone back and said 'hey, by the way that app has now been pulled from the app store, you might want to delete it from your phone now'."
Luckily, once a user uninstalls a discontinued app then they also remove any risk associated with it.
Extra cautious users could also perform a hardware scan using a security programme so they can be certain that their device does not contain any malicious programmes.
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