Protect Yourself from Madware with Norton Spot

Shane loves to play on the iPad, but it doesn’t leave the house with us. So when he’s bored at the grocery store, he’ll ask for my phone or Justin’s phone. We usually gladly hand them over, knowing that we don’t have anything inappropriate for young eyes or ears on them, and in the hopes that we’ll be able to get through the shopping list more quickly without Shane asking for everything that remotely resembles a toy.

angry birds android

Until now, the only concern we had about Shane using the phones was that he might drop one & break it. But I recently learned about something called Madware that has me extra worried. Madware is what it sounds like- Adware for Mobile devices. While it doesn’t affect iPhones, Android phones are susceptible &unfortunately, that’s what Justin has.

According to Norton, Madware, or aggressive mobile adware, uses aggressive techniques to place advertising in your Android device’s photo albums, calendar entries and push messages to your notification bar. Madware can even go so far as to replace your ringtone with an ad.

Shane’s been known to click on pop-ups within ads- either they surprise him while he’s trying to click on something else, or they entice him with a fun-looking new game. I’ve disabled in-app purchases on my iPhone, but since Shane doesn’t use Justin’s phone as much, he hasn’t taken any precautions. As a result, we’ve accidentally purchased app add-ons and entire new apps as well.

Some of those apps may contain madware without us even knowing- and even some that we download intentionally could! Currently, about 24% of all free apps make money by displaying ads. Norton found that 49% of all free apps that display ads within the app use madware. That’s a huge amount. I had never heard of it before, but the problem is growing quickly- the amount of apps that include madware has grown 210% in the last nine months. That rate worries me- I’m willing to bet that Justin has several of those apps on his phone without knowing it.

With these seemingly harmless downloads can come madware (mobile adware) and it proves to be the Trojan Horse of Android’s security. Linking itself to common apps like Angry Birds, Sam’s Club and Flashlight, madware gains access to your personal information, location, settings, and frequently delivers advertising inappropriately.

norton spot

Norton has a solution for madware called Norton Spot. It helps you to identify apps that contain madware & remove them. The app is free to download & is available in the Google Play app store or by clicking here.

To learn more about madware & mobile internet security, check out the infographic below {click to enlarge} & visit MobileSecurity.com, Norton’s brand-agnostic website dedicated to bringing you the latest in mobile security.

Did you have any of the Top 10 apps on your phone?


Note: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Norton. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.

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