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HomeNews TrendsPopular Android Apps Putting Your Security and Privacy at Risk

Popular Android Apps Putting Your Security and Privacy at Risk

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Android apps sometimes fool you into thinking they’re your friends. In reality, they just want to harm you; they don’t care about helping or entertaining you.

The Play Store’s approach to filtering unsafe content has frequently been criticized for its lack of effectiveness. Unscrupulous people might track, steal, hack, or con you.

Here are the worst apps from our list of bad apps. Make sure you are not one of the millions of people who have installed the app.

1. ES File Explorer

There were many file explorers, but the most popular was probably ES File Explorer. There was a time, five years ago, when it was really, really good.

There are endless notifications from the notification bar nagging you to install additional apps, which you can’t disable. The free version was stuffed full of bloatware and adware. It was found in April 2019 that a once-popular app had engaged in click fraud on its ads, leaving it removed from the Play Store.

Unbeknown to most people, click fraud is frequently committed when background ads are automatically clicked without the users’ consent.

ES File Explorer APK is still available on the Internet, but there are also dozens of impersonators.

Top Tip: Choose one of the many Android file explorers available instead. Files, by Google, is easy to use, while Total Commander provides more customization options.2.

2. UC Browser

China and India have a large user base for this Android web browser. Compression is claimed to save you data with its fast mode.

Tracking is the reason it’s bad. Search queries from Yahoo India and Google are sent without encryption. IMSI numbers, IMEI numbers, Android IDs, and Wi-Fi MAC addresses are sent to Umeng (an Alibaba analytics tool) without encryption.

Top Tip: It’s obvious to pick Chrome and Firefox if you want an Android browser that’s quick, but many people worry about privacy too. A solid all-around privacy browser, DuckDuckGo.

3. QuickPic Gallery

As an easy-to-use photo gallery, QuickPic used to be friendly. While not flashy, it grew steadily and steadily in popularity, due to frequent updates and clear communication.

It was acquired in 2015 by Cheetah Mobile, an infamous Chinese company. Google Plus user who discovered hundreds of new DNS requests that were associated with the app states that it became a harmful app for Android immediately; the company started uploading users’ data to its servers.

Since late-2018, the app has been completely removed from the Play Store but has now been added back in 2019. Android Police was informed by Cheetah that QuickPic wasn’t removed due to click fraud, but because the company just wanted to stop maintaining it.

QuickPic has been reincarnated hundreds of times since its creation. The original version is hard to differentiate from the copies today. You will be safe if you follow one simple rule: do not install any of them!

Top Tip: Use an Android gallery app instead. There are several to choose from. Simple Gallery is a good alternative to QuickPic. With it, users can edit photos, manage files, and customize themes.

4. Hago

This is a social networking app that allows you to play games, chat in real-time, and hang out with your friends all in one app.

Hago is supposed to be safe in the traditional sense, but is that the case? It seems to be so because there is no evidence of severe malpractice. Playing games and joining groups within the app, however, allows you to earn real money. This immediately raises red flags. We believe a problem is brewing given those factors as well as the fact that sideloading the app earns you more money than installing it via Google Play.

Top Tip: You can find several free Android games via the internet, while WhatsApp can be used to communicate with friends, and Kik can be used to interact with strangers.

5. CLEANit

An application that’s been installed over 10 million times and has 85 percent four- and five-star reviews.

It advertises most things that harm your phone. It will take longer to clear the cache if your phone is rebuilt from scratch. Killing apps will not reduce your battery usage as claimed, and cleaning your RAM will have no effect on it.

Top Tip: It is highly recommended that you use Greenify to reduce battery drain caused by apps, and SD Maid for junk files and logs, etc.

6. Dolphin Web Browser

A Flash-supported, HTML 5-video-enabled web browser that does not display advertisements. The browser has been downloaded 50 million times to date.

Like UC Browser, it tracks you everywhere you go. Most alarmingly, it keeps a file on your phone that keeps logs of your incognito mode visits to websites. Using a VPN can reveal your ISP’s address even when you’re using a VPN. Do not use it; delete it right away.

Top Tip: If you’d rather use Google Chrome, Firefox, and DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser instead.

7. Clean Master

Boost your Internet speed, save your battery, and optimize your phone with this popular application. This app has been unavailable for a long time. Before it was removed in 2019, it had 600 million users and 26 million five-star reviews. And the APK remains widely available.

Cheetah Mobile is behind it, so first of all, it’s bad. Their apps are infamous for being stuffed with ads, bloatware, and nag screens.

A second problem is that it offers no real benefit. RAM-saving apps might have made sense in the past, but they’re no longer necessary. A native Android handler assigns RAM and makes sure it’s used the most efficiently-it may even purposefully keep RAM loaded to boost performance.

Use nothing instead: That’s the truth. You can always count on SD Maid for help.

The Takeaway!

Almost all Android apps on the Play Store are collecting at least some data. Very few apps on the Play Store are completely “safe.”

Unfortunately, the Play Store contains some dangerous apps. Only a few of them have been discussed so far.

Even more deadly is the threat of sideloaded APKs. Cybersecurity experts often recommend that you should not sideload apps that have been removed from the app store because you used to be a loyal customer. There is a very good chance that your security has been compromised.

Author Bio

Neha Singh is the Founder & CEO of Securium Solutions

Neha Singh is the Founder & CEO of Securium Solutions with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. She is skilled in ECSA, Vulnerability Management, Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), Management, and Business Development. She loves traveling and trekking.

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