Android users should always be careful when installing apps from Weird developersEven if they are coming from the Google Play Store. But according to a new report, you should be especially careful about installing free antivirus software and “cleaning” apps when trying to protect your phone from malware and other forms of cyber nasty.
to me Internet newsHowever, many free antivirus apps are actually a liability, as her research has found that these apps can contain trackers and links to potentially harmful websites. This is the exact opposite thing you want from an app designed to protect you.
Researchers studied 40 of the top-ranked cleaning and antivirus apps on Google Play, which all have 918 million downloads. It turned out that only two of these apps did not contain any trackers, while six of them contained potentially harmful links.
Thirteen of these apps were deemed of poor quality, thanks to “questionable cryptographic practices” that Cybernews’ research team awarded the lowest possible score in its security rating system.
Among the bad apps, Keep Clean Cleaner and Antivirus scored the best score, with a rating of 54 out of 100. Meanwhile, “Safe Security – Antivirus, Booster, Phone Cleaner” and “Nova Security – Virus Cleaner” came down with scores 9 and 10 respectively.
When it came to malicious links, Dr.Capsule Antivirus, Cleaner came out at its worst, with three potentially malicious links. Other apps like “GO Security – Antivirus, AppLock, Booster” and “Virus Hunter 2021 Virus Scanner and Phone Cleaner” have two.
As for trackers, Nova Security – Virus Cleaner ranked worst, with 30 items. 3 are also found in “Fancy Booster – Cleaner, Antivirus & Speed Up” and “Antivirus, Virus Cleaner, Booster – Fancy Security”.
Cybernews also noted that two of the top forty antivirus apps could not be analyzed, something the researchers claim could be due to the obfuscation. The report notes that this method is often used to counter reverse engineering, protect intellectual property or hide something malicious. But in this case it is not clear what is the reason.
Only one developer had responded to requests for comment by the time the report was published. The developers of Dr. Capsule that the confusion between http and secure https caused the app to be mistakenly flagged as malicious.
Cybernews notes that the total number of installs indicates that average Android users “are keen to secure their phones from malware and are concerned about keeping their devices running as fast as possible by cleaning up junk files and cache.”
“Technically savvy users are more likely to download an app to do all that hard work automatically. However, a lot of the free options available come at a hidden price — user data is clearly tracked, sold, or otherwise insecurely managed due to cryptographic practices. and questionable privacy for app developers,” the report noted.
In other words, you have to be careful about what you install, even if these apps are supposed to keep your device running properly. If you need an antivirus app for your Android device, be sure to check out our list of the best antivirus apps for Android.
These apps can detect and prevent malware from being installed, along with privacy and anti-theft features. The majority are also either free or have a free category to start with, and come from big names like Avast, Norton, Bitdefender, Google, and more. In other words, the type of antivirus that you know you can trust.
you can see Complete Cybernews Free Antivirus Ranking Tables on its website.