Tagged: adware

The Changing Need for Antivirus Type Apps

There has been a great debate over the use of an Antivirus or scanner app of some type.  It has it’s ups and downs, but with all the recent news coverage out there showing that the number of “Malware” apps is on the rise. Some sites have even reported that the number of apps has hit the 50 mark.  

So what are the best ways to get your phone protected against these kinds of threats?  

You can always install an Antivirus app, or (for example) a multipurpose app like Lookout.  Lookout scans all installed apps against their database and will advise you if something has been reported as malicious. You may notice a slight decrease in performance as the application is running all the time, but may be well worth the loss,
ch_client = “charliedelong”; ch_width = 430; ch_height = 90; ch_type = “mpu”; ch_sid = “Chitika Default”; ch_backfill = 1; ch_color_site_link = “#F48D1D”; ch_color_title = “#F48D1D”; ch_color_border = “#FFFFFF”; ch_color_text = “#000000”; ch_color_bg = “#FFFFFF”;
Research the app before you download it. The comments are there for a reason.  Read through those, along with the app permissions (See Screenshot).  The app permissions will tell you what sort of access the app has to your data. If something seems fishy check the comments for an explanation to the reason for needing a certain permission.  Do keep in mind that certain things may seem funny, like an app having the ability to locate you, but if there is a feature in the app that uses the GPS it will need that permission.  A similar complete is when an app needs to see what state the phone is in.  A lot of times that is so the app can save data before the phone call comes in.

Also keep an eye on the source of the file. Be extra cautious when loading an app from a 3rd party, or a file sharing site. A lot of developers are using places like Mediafire.com or 4Shared.com to distribute apps that aren’t in the market because it is a free way to distribute their app, but it is best to download from one of the major App stores. (Android Market, Amazon Appstore, SlideME) because the apps are typically checked before they are distributed. (More so with Amazon and SlideME where a person actually hand tests all the apps.)

So be cautious out there, and always remember to backup your data. The good news with this situation is that Android Market is removing apps as they are reported bad and revoking the license of the app creators.

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Getting spammed? Try Addons Detector

I have heard of a lot of complaints of adware type popups appearing on Android phones. It appears as a star icon in the notification area.  Some peoplee prefer this to a traditional “click on” banner ad floating in the app itself, and others see it as an invasion of their privacy.

However you feel about it I have researched a few ways to get rid of it.  After reading through the airpush.com website (which seems to be the main source) I discovered that they have an opt-out program. The main problem here is that this opt-out program is provided in the form of the app and does access some semi-personal information (phone info, such as a serial number). You simply download it from market, to the phone that you want opted out and it stops them from serving you ads.

If you are interested in this option check it out here:
https://market.android.com/details?id=com.airpush.optout

Another option that I found is an advertisement detector app that scans all of your apps and let’s you know what apps have what types of advertising in them. It is called Addons Detector. This is a great option to allow you to see what types of advertising is in all of your apps and make the call if you want to continue using the app or not. It also tells you if the apps are linked to Amazon Appstore or if the developer uses Google Analytics.  If you click on the listed app it takes you to the screen where you can uninstall the app.

Find that app here:
https://market.android.com/details?id=com.denper.addonsdetector&hl=en

So get out there and take care of this if you are getting these ads and if they are bothering you.  Also keep in mind that the developer of the app is getting paid for the ads and it is a good way to reward them without having to pay for anything out of your pocket…

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