Security is a huge concern with any technology, but with the growing use and popularity of mobile devices, it’s becoming a growing issue. Now, developers are finding new uses for technology through software, and in doing so, are creating new ways to expose user data. Our phones have tons of this data. On Android, security takes a back seat to an “open” app marketplace. Unlike the App Store, any app developer can upload an app on he Google Play store, even if it contains malware. In this case, the app claimed to detect malware. What did it actually do? It displayed a shield image. This false sense of security came at a cost of just $3.99.
Those who downloaded this app were fortunate to only lost four dollars. The developer could have created an app that sent off user data to offshore companies, collecting and selling sensitive user information, or it could have tried to steal banking data. The developer spent all of a few minutes making this app, and didn’t want to do more work. As such, all the app does is toggle a shield image on the screen. The app managed to get great ratings, as it never burned down the user’s battery and made them feel protected. It was also downloaded over 10,000 times, and became the top app on Google Play. This scam artist came up with one great scam, one that has been an issue in America the country was founded. He sold snake oil, digital snake oil. Users got nothing for the price of $3.99, and the developer probably spent less than 10 minutes making the app.
You should be asking yourself, “If this guy could do this, who else could have?”. This app took almost no skill to create, and without any barriers to entry on the Google Play store, anyone could do it. Read those descriptions and reviews carefully, because it could save you money and protect your privacy.