A recent Buzzfeed article indicates that several popular Android apps available on the Google Play Store are sensitive Collected and stored user data without encryption or permission.
This particular instance is more alarming than before ̵
Which apps should be deleted immediately
These are the apps that have been included in Buzzfeed's investigation. If you have any of these features installed on your phone, delete them now:
- Selfie Camera
- Total Cleaner
- Smart Cooler
- RAM Master
- AIO Flashlight
- Omni Cleaner
- 19659007] WaWaYaYa  Emoji Flashlight
- Samsung TV Remote Control (via Peel Technologies, Inc.)
Avoid Apps Like This
Do not feel bad if you are among the nearly 100 million downloads of these apps were. The developers hid otherwise damaging information – such as the country of origin and the company that owns the app – that usually raises red flags.
However, as Buzzfeed's investigation highlights, each app called for too many app permissions, including "dangerous" permissions such as location data, access to phone sensors, or personal contact information. This is an indication of a suspicious app.
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Read Read More Google has blacklisted six of the above apps – Selfie Camera, Total Cleaner, Smart Cooler, RAm Master, AIO Flashlight and Omni Cleaner – in response to Buzzfeed's reporting and permissions Developer accounts will be created in the future. Still, it seems far too easy for malicious developers to fool the Google Play Store.
Here are our recommendations for making your app downloads smart:
- Use a trusted mobile anti-virus app to check apps and files before you install them.
- Do not download apps with mostly bad ratings.
- Also note what the reviews actually say. Companies can inflate their ratings with fake reviews to drown out the negative ones. If you see reports that show dubious behaviors, false advertising, etc., you should be aware of it.
- Watch for apps with a high number of permissions or permissions that do not make sense for the app. For example, the AIO Flashlight app called for the full authorization of 31 . No real flashlight app needs so many nearby that it can be run.
- Review the security policies of an app or application developer. This can often be found in a fast web search if no open is provided. If the policy appears weak, is hosted from a questionable location (like the random Tumblr page of Selfie Camera), or if there is no security policy, please skip the download.
- In general, apps should not be downloaded by developers. If you do, browse the app online and seek professional reviews and feedback from technical site users and forums.
- Be extremely careful when downloading APK files from unofficial sources.