When you download a free antivirus or cleaning app for your Android smartphone, many of these apps contain links to data trackers and potentially malicious domains, so you have more privacy than if you completely avoided them. And security can be compromised.
To edit a new report Cybernews A survey of the 40 most ranked and most downloaded cleaning apps and Android antivirus apps on the Google Play store found that many of these apps do not support the high standards of similar software on the desktop. I did. To make matters worse, these apps have been installed over 918 million times, and each of the most popular apps has been installed over 1 million times.
Cybernews‘The research team provided further insights into the findings and explained why users would want to download these apps. Blog post,say it:
“Based on total installs, the average Android user is eager to protect their phones from malware and keeps their devices running as fast as possible by cleaning up junk files and caches. I’m interested. Users who aren’t tech-savvy may download the app to do all this tedious work automatically, but many of the free options are hidden. It is offered at a price. Due to doubtful application developer coding and privacy practices, user data is tracked, sold, or managed in an insecure manner. “
Lots of red flags
After digging deeper into each of the 40 apps in question, Cybernews Next, each was given a security score of 100 points.
The 13 apps were determined by the news outlets to be very harmful to privacy and therefore earned the lowest possible grade due to “suspicious coding practices”. Meanwhile, the six apps hack smartphones for Android users trying to make their devices more secure.
The antivirus app KeepClean Cleaner ranked top among these bad apps with 54 out of 100 in terms of security. Meanwhile, the last place went to the app SafeSecurity Antivirus Booster and Phone Cleaner, which scored 9 points.
Cybernews Two of the 40 apps couldn’t be analyzed due to obfuscation, the method developers used to dodge reverse engineering. However, you can also use obfuscation to hide malicious things such as malware.
It’s worth noting that while almost all 40 apps included trackers and only a handful of them, other apps like Nova Security included 30.
Whenever something is free, it costs money. For these antivirus and cleaner apps, it’s your privacy and potentially security. You can usually tell if it’s justified by just reading a review, checking your rating, or checking the number of app downloads, but that’s not always the case: Hmm. Cybernews‘The latest report.