1 million American Android users have downloaded adware

Adware Graphic Lookout

Credit – Lookout

In an earlier article, we told you about how Android accounts for 92% of all mobile malware attacks, now, anther study has claimed that one million American Android users have become infected with adware.

According to Lookout, a security company, over the last year alone, over one million Americans unknowingly downloaded adware onto their Android devices. Another frightening fact is that 6.5% of free applications on the Google Play store contain adwareof some variety.

For some, adware isn’t the easiest thing to define. This is because there is a gray area of sorts between what is proper advertising practice, and what isn’t. However, never fear because Lookout says that there are a few key things to look out for that turn those normal ads into adware:

  • The app displays advertising that’s “outside of the normal experience;
  • The ad “harvests unusual personally identifiable information; or
  • The ad “performs unexpected actions as a response to ad clicks.

To illustrate the growing impact that adware is having on Android, Lookout provided some statistics on where Android users are most likely to find adware lurking around . Lookout says that 26 percent of the free personalisation apps in Google Play contain adware. Whilst for those that are into games, 9 percent of the free programs have adware. In a rather shock result however, social apps are least likely to contain adware, with Lookout finding that just 2 percent of those free programs come bundled with adware.

“Questionable mobile advertising practices, such as adware, can get in the way of user privacy and experience, doing things like capturing personal information (i.e., email, location, address list, etc.) without proper notification and modifying phone settings and desktops without consent,” Lookout said in a blog post on Wednesday. “While the majority of mobile ads are A-OK, as the industry grows, it needs to protect user privacy and excellent user experience.”

Last Updated on