Warning: Your Free Mobile app Could Have Adware
Like many of you, I love adding apps to my smartphone to enhance the functionality available to me.There are literally thousands of apps available for free to pimp up your phone.
Mobile security company Lookout has some worrying news for you though. They've done some research into the free apps on the market to see how secure they were and found that around 5% of free apps come with Adware installed in them.
Adware are ad networks that affect how your phone operates, changing settings, sending notifications and even accessing personal information.
Lookout estimates that mobile apps with this kind of privacy-violating adware have been downloaded at least 80 million times, mostly on Android devices.
Adware is most present in apps in the personalization category. These apps do things like changing our wallpaper.
In conjunction with the research, Lookout have released a free app that detects adware on your phone.
It is also hoping to establish some guidelines for the industry to encourage mobile ad networks to respect user privacy more.
The moral of the story seems to be that whilst you should enjoy and utilize free apps on your phone, do be careful of any unwanted extras that come with them.