Of course, the phenomenon of malicious adware is hardly new as it has been ubiquitous on the world’s most popular mobile software platform for as long as we can remember, but the 21 Android apps named and shamed earlier this week by antivirus developer Avast stand by first time (for the wrong reasons) in the spotlight.
Delete these ad-struck apps ASAP
Before we even get into the reasons why you should stay as far away as possible from the nearly two dozen misleading Google Play titles identified by Avast’s researchers after carefully studying their behavior and combing through hundreds of user reviews, the most important thing is undoubtedly list the 21 apps the whole world can see. Without further ado, here they are all ranked by popularity:
- Shoot them
- Crush Car
- Rolling scroll
- Helicopter attack – New
- Assassin Legend – 2020 New
- Shoot the helicopter
- Rugby Pass
- Flying skateboard
- Iron it
- Shooting barrel
- Plant monsters
- Find hidden
- Find 5 Differences – 2020 New
- Rotate shape
- Jump jump
- Find the differences – puzzle game
- Sway Man
- Desert against
- Money destroyer
- Cream Trip – Neu
- Saving props
Now that you know what to avoid, you may be wondering exactly what is wrong with these Android apps. Most of them don’t look malicious or highly suspicious at first glance, at least to the untrained eyes of many normal mobile content consumers.
The keenly trained eyes of a number of Avast’s cyast security experts, who scoured the Play Store for red flags for the third time in just four months, quickly discovered that a slew of reviews for the apps listed above mentioned YouTube ads that a completely different functionality than that a user actually downloaded these titles.
After the shady developers of the 21 malicious games identified in this new report caught people’s attention with fraudulent ads, they bombarded their customers with more ads, many of which appeared outside of the apps themselves, making it incredibly difficult to pinpoint the culprits to find out.
Fortunately, this is where Avast comes in to help you regain full control of your infected smartphone and root out some annoying and often extremely intrusive ads that make your life miserable by delaying or completely blocking your work from important tasks General system slows down and greatly affects the overall user experience.
How to stay safe in the long run
First of all, you should never rely solely on Google to protect you from adware, ransomware, spyware, and all the other types of Trojans and viruses that often wreak havoc on the official Play Store.
The search giant just isn’t doing enough to prevent these threats from entering, and more specifically, to eliminate them without mercy or delay. In this case, a whopping 15 of the 21 apps listed above are still alive and well at the time of writing, though at least that number has been reduced from 19 when the report was originally released.
Another thing that you shouldn’t rely on is the number of installs an app has. The number of Google Play downloads is not always representative of the reliability of an app. This shows the over eight million times these 21 apps were installed on mobile devices around the world when Avast released its latest findings. Meanwhile, Rolling Scroll and Helicopter Attack – New Shoot Them and Crush Car appear to have joined the million-plus download club. Yes, apparently popular apps can also be dangerous.
Instead, be sure to check out user ratings before installing any app on your Android phone. Anything that has a lot of 5 star and 1 star reviews is likely to be mean. Anything less than 3 stars on average is either dangerous or not worth your time.
Another potential red flag is a developer account with just one app in its name. This could indicate that the person or company behind what you are trying to download is actually running multiple accounts, thus protecting their nefarious business from Google raids that sometimes end in deleting profiles.
Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are, you can never be 100 percent protected from all forms of Android malware. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to avoid at least the most obvious security threats.
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