MILLIONS of Android owners may be harboring apps that secretly play ads in the background, draining their battery and data.
Cyber experts at McAfee have warned of 43 Android apps that should be deleted because they eat up data and drain your battery.
These apps have been downloaded more than 2.5 million times in total.
They are mainly sold as TV/DMB player, music download, news and calendar apps.
But they could end up costing you a fortune in unnecessary data fees and even cloud data storage costs.
Apps that display ads and use your mobile data even when your screen is off will be banned by Google.
However, they can sometimes fall through the cracks.
In order to avoid detection, the advertisements are only played behind the scenes for a few weeks after installation.
So you may not notice anything else right away.
“These apps load ads while the device’s screen is off, which may seem convenient to users at first,” McAfee experts wrote in a recent blog post.
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“This not only impacts advertisers paying for invisible ads, but also users as it drains battery, consumes data, and introduces potential risks such as information leakage and user profiling disruption from clicker behavior.”
The McAfee team raised the issue with Google, which has since removed most “problematic” apps from the Android Play Store.
However, even if an app has been removed from the Play Store, you still need to manually delete it from your device if you downloaded it.
McAfee has a full list of apps Here.
If you want to avoid these types of apps in the future, McAfee recommends checking two permissions an app might ask for after downloading it:
- “Battery saving exclusions: Exclude this app when saving battery? This may drain the battery faster.”
- “You must allow drawing through other apps. Please allow this in settings.”
If these come up after downloading an app, always say no.
Otherwise, you will tempt them to unnecessarily drain your battery.
“It’s important for users to exercise caution and carefully consider whether it’s necessary to grant permissions such as blocking power saving or blocking other apps before allowing them,” experts added.
“These permissions may allow certain activities to proceed discreetly in the background, raising concerns about the intentions and behavior of the applications or libraries in question.”
“Allowing these permissions may result in more malicious behavior, such as showing phishing pages and showing ads in the background.”
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