How many of you have a smart phone? How many of you have young kids, that you let play with your smart phone?
I’m guessing quite a few.
It’s not unheard of, but rare nowadays to know someone without a smart phone. And crazy as it is, our children, even the two year olds, know how to use them. I personally try to keep my phone out of their hands, that’s why they have a LeapPad, but occasionally they ask me to play a game or watch Netflix, when we’re out.
If you do have a smart phone like we do, then you probably have a ton of apps on it, especially games and activities for the kids. Did you know that a lot of those apps contain madware?
What is madware?
Madware is aggressive mobile adware found on Android phones only. It uses techniques to place advertising in your Android device’s photo albums, calendar entries and push messages to your notification bar. Madware can even go so far as to replace your ringtone with an ad. Crazy right?
The percentage of apps containing madware has exploded. Norton recently analyzed 1.5 million apps and saw a 210% increase in the number of apps including madware.
Some of the most unsuspecting popular apps are known to include madware, such as:
- Brightest Flashlight Free is an ultra-bright app that allows you to use your phone as a flashlight. However, the app pushes alerts for things like dating sites to your notification bar – which can be annoying and potentially embarrassing.
- Zedge offers free ringtones, themes and wallpaper. Similar to Brightest Flashlight Free, it pushes alerts to your notification bar.
- Angry Birds and Angry Birds Space from Rovio are two of the top ten madware offenders.
Why should you care?
Since more and more kids are using smartphones, Android phones are at an even more increased risk for encountering madware. Especially if you have tweens or teens that have their own smartphones.
What can you do?
Download Norton Spot, Norton’s app solution for madware. It’s an ad detector and scanner of advertising networks that can spam your device via apps you install. The app is free to download and is available in the Google Play app store for Android devices.
Norton Spot helps you identify apps that don’t respect your privacy, then you have the option to remove them.
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Norton. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.