It’s easy and fast to download apps to your smartphone. They do everything from identify a song you just heard to turning your phone into a flashlight. But there are secrets lurking beneath the fun apps. See how knowledgeable you are about the risks associated with free and paid apps for your smartphone. Answer the question, then read on to check if you were right.
1. Which is riskier?
- Free mobile phone apps
- Paid mobile phone apps
If you chose free mobile phone apps, then you are correct. Overall, 83% of the 100 most popular apps are associated with security risks and privacy issues, according to a new analysis by Appthority. The interesting point this study make is that these aren’t just any old apps, these are the games, productivity, and communication tools created by major publishers like Disney, Entertainment Arts, and Rovio. Analysts also found that paid apps aren’t as safe as you think. While 95% of free apps exhibited at least one risky behavior, so did 78% of the top paid apps.
TIP: avast! Free Mobile Security identifies potential privacy risks, by scanning and displaying access rights and the intent of your apps, so you know how much info you are really providing to each app. Read what Consumer Reports says about avast! Free Mobile Security.
2. Which is safer?
- Apple’s mobile ecosystem
- Android’s “open” platform
Would you like a sneak-peek into avast! Mobile Security version 3, avast! Anti-Theft and the debut of a new product, avast! Backup? We are looking for advanced users to participate in the avast! Mobile Security Beta test starting today. This Beta test will run for a full week in which time you can give us valuable feedback that we can incorporate into our product before going public to millions of users.
Here’s how to join the Beta test
- Sign up on the dedicated avast! Mobile Beta Testers Google Plus community
- Click the product links on the right under ‘About this community’ and sign up as tester for our Beta program
- Within 24 hours of the beta launch, you’ll see upgrades to avast! Mobile Security and avast! Anti-Theft in the Google Play Store. Our new product, avast! Backup will also be available to install from Google Play.
!! Note that avast! Anti-Theft Advanced users (users who installed from our servers instead from Google Play) will need to send their IMEI to holzner at avast dot com to get their Anti-Theft client upgraded to the Beta version !!
- In order to get your free premium test license, open any of our apps and click on the “Go Premium” button
- Click on the “Voucher” button to the top right of the screen
- Enter AVASTBETATEST as the voucher code
- Get your free beta test license (valid until end of August)
- Deliver your feedback to the avast! Mobile Security forum
This release incorporates a premium line on top of our free offering. You can learn more about the features on the avast! Mobile Security forum.
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Question of the week: I have avast! Free Antivirus on my computer and I love it, but isn’t antivirus for a smartphone overkill? I mean, there are not so many threats to a phone, are there?
This is a question being asked by lots of security firms lately, and the answer is a resounding, YES. As smartphones and tablets become increasingly popular, so do threats that target mobile devices exclusively. Two particular studies published lately have pointed to an increase in mobile malware over the past year.
Android is in the bull’s eye
You could win 1 of 9 Nexus devices! All you have to do is visit the Android Police contest page and answer this question:
What feature (or features) would you like to see added to avast! Mobile Security?
Visit the Android Police contest page now, read through the description of the contest, and add your answer to the comments section. That’s it! You could win 1 of 9 Nexus devices! The contest begins now and will run for one week, ending on Saturday, April 20th at 12:00AM PT (Midnight). After that, winners will be picked randomly.
Enter now and share with your friends.
Learn more about avast! Mobile Security:
It has been two or three months since I last blogged about Android malware. But that definitely doesn’t mean there aren’t any new threats. There are plenty! Here are two quick comparisons from the last two years: Growth of the malware problem of the platform in January 2012 compared with January 2013 is far from the ‘normal’ growth of other platforms. According to our statistics, it’s something around +850 percent! Add another year for an even more insane comparison – the growth from January 2011 to January 2013 gives us +3150 percent! The Android platform is definitely one of the most targeted malware platforms these days. But no worries, users of Avast! Free Mobile Security are safe. Read more…
A few months ago, Google announced a new feature in Android. Version 4.2 Jelly Bean has an integrated real-time app scan which should be able to check if applications you install are clean or malicious. But is this enough? Sleazy Android app developers continue to sneak their fake apps by the Google Play gatekeepers. These guys rip off popular apps in an attempt to fool unsuspecting users.
“In the start of this week, Google released a few applications from a developer called GILBERT8332 which pretend they are legitimate applications. Between these applications you can find quite common games such as The Sims 3, Asphalt 6, Ninjago Lego and so on. And compared to original developers they are free,” said Filip Chytrý, a researcher from Avast Virus Lab.
The common result of downloading a bogus app is that personal information like your email address and mobile phone number are stolen and you are served an unending stream of spam and unwelcome offers.
Chytrý warns, “When you download them and install in your android device you will be surprised. All of them are malware. They all start quite innocently with a license agreement of AirPush advert. (AirPush is a advert system which allows to show advertisement in notification bar of your Android device.)”
“And then the funny parts come up. The Game will ask you if you want to change your main page in browser and put a search icon on desktop. Even if you decline, it’s too late. Your browser is already changed for another search page and your device is filled with uncomfortable adverts and as a bonus, the device will send personal information to a third party,” said Chytrý.
Block fake apps
avast! Free Mobile Security blocks fake apps and our new signature targeting protects you against
malware distributed with them. Our popular anti-virus/anti-theft app for Android stops downloads of fake apps and games, so you won’t be duped.
“All of these apps use multiple advert services, steal your personal data and they even are hidden under different creators. But don’t worry. Avast detects all of the mentioned applications as Android:FakeInst-DL, and urls of fake searchers are blocked also,” said Chytrý.
Get avast! Free Mobile Security for your Android device from Google Play. Please add a review and share with your friends if you like it!
An estimated 67,000 mobile phones are likely to be lost or stolen during the Olympics in London, according to research from security firm Venafi. With the influx of visitors to London starting this week, Venafi extrapolates that a total of 214.4 terabytes - the equivalent of 200 million books full of data - will be lost during the course of the 2012 Olympics.
The risk of losing data, much of it valuable and often-regulated business data, is tremendous. “There’s been an explosion of corporate data available to users from their mobile devices. This is a real danger and one that is often overlooked,” said Gregory Webb, Venafi Vice President of Marketing.
“People don’t consider or take action to protect the vast volumes of information they carry and have internet access to. With the ever-shrinking boundaries between work devices and work-enabled personal devices, lost or stolen smartphones and other mobile devices that fall into the wrong hands place companies and business data at tremendous risk.”
Even if you are not attending the Olympics, you can protect your mobile phone from theft by downloading avast! Free Mobile Security, our full-featured anti-theft and anti-malware app for Android smartphones. With special “stealth” and remote-access features, including lock, wipe and siren, as well as an abundance of remote text commands, smartphone users are protected against the loss or misuse of their device. Together with anti-malware features to keep online threats at bay, avast! Free Mobile Security is the most full-featured security app available.
Avast! Free Mobile Security is completely free. You can get your own avast! Free Mobile Security here.