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Type of Deceptive Ads shown on Smartphones and How to Avoid Them

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Based on analysis by Cheetah Mobile Security Research Lab, mobile malware has been spreading rapidly in India. India is now the second largest smartphone market in terms of active unique smartphone users. According to data collected by Cheetah Mobile, out of all the infected devices around the world, 17.8 percent are from India. That’s a huge number considering the total number of users in India.

Cheetah Mobile is a Chinese mobile Internet company headquartered in Beijing, China. The company was established in 2010 as a merger of Kingsoft Security and Conew Image, and grew to be the second-largest internet security software provider in China. Clean Master is one of the most popular apps by the company. You probably know the app as a cleaning agent of your smartphone. Cheetah Mobile also collaborating with Cubot to launch their smartphone called Cubot CheetahPhone.

It Improves smartphone performance by erasing junk files, optimizing memory, and providing full protection from viruses, Trojans, and other malware. The company is also best known as the developer of the Battery Doctor, Duba Anti-virus. It also acquired the QuickPick Gallery from the original developer. It has more than 568 million monthly users as of November 2015.

Almost 45% of the infected phones are dealing with the following top 10 viruses. These are just a few of the million viruses out there, which can infect your device.

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 9.58.51 AM

Budget Android phones are very popular in India. But unfortunately, some of these mobile phones have been pre-loaded with viruses even before reaching to consumers. Based on information from Pornhub, a famous porn website, India stands at third place in terms of global porn viewership as of January 2016.

It is not a surprise that these kind of website are responsible for spreading malware. The users are usually tricked into downloading various apps related to such content or other intimidating content while browsing the web, which exposes their devices to the malware unknowingly. Now this malware is planted with a motive to make a profit via spreading deceptive advertising.

Below we have mentioned a few ways in which users may experience an attack and what categories they fall under as they can take many forms and affect each user differently.

Deceptive Ads Smartphones Example

  • Pop-ups while turning on your smartphone or charging –
    If you have encountered a pop-up after turning your phone on or while your plug your phone for charging, then you are being attacked by a malware of some kind. It might show any content, mostly stating performance issues with the phone or with your boot-speed once you switch on. Once you click those ads, then it will start downloading unnecessary apps and malware to the device.
  • Installing or uninstalling apps –
    When users installs/uninstalls an app, the virus will pop-up ads disguised as a return or close icon. In this case, users have no option but to click it since most of us don’t even realize it’s a malware or an unnecessary pop-up.
  • When an App is running –
    When an app is triggered, these pop-ups might occur which takes up the entire space on the screen making it impossible to use the app without interacting with the pop-up. These are also the mostly encountered ones since an action has to be taken to proceed.
  • Exiting an app –
    While exiting an app or switching between apps, the virus would pop-up tricking and making the user install an additional app again.
  • Random app recommendations on the desktop –
    Some users might notice icons of new apps on their home screen. Once you click on these apps, it will automatically start downloading the app onto your device. These APKs are downloaded by the virus, and the icons are aimed to trick users to allow the malware to be downloaded.

Here are few ways by which you can avoid your phone getting affected by these viruses and malware:

Trusted sources for applications

Avoid installing apps which you are not sure about. Most of the apps outside Google Play store are from unknown sources. So avoid installing them and go for only trusted APK providers. Another recommended store to download is Amazon Appstore. There’s a good bit of duplication between it and the Google Play store, but you should be able to download safely. And mainly avoid the free versions of the paid apps available with random websites online. Those are the ones that primarily affect. So once again, to ensure everything is safe and secure, “Uncheck install from unknown sources” option from the settings menu.

File Management

Always use a trusted computer for transfer of files, media, etc. Never load any of these from a local computer which is used by many publicly. Always use a system, which has all the necessary firewall and anti-virus application installed and which can monitor what is coming in and going out. This will allow you to be secure when transferring local files and media since your device will be vulnerable to all kinds attacks while it is connected to such computer systems.

Read Permissions

This part was hard with earlier versions of Android before Marshmallow. While installing an app, the software will show all the permissions you have granted to the application. You can untick any of them and restrict the app from using those services. With Android 6.0 Marshmallow, this is simplified, and the app now asks for permissions before using the service real-time. So you need not go through the entire list of permissions while installing, which we usually skip through.

Using Anti-Virus applications

Using Anti-Virus programs can also be helpful. Is it necessary? Probably not. Google scans each and every app that goes through the Play Store. But if you want to be more secure, then go ahead and install Anti-Virus application on your phone. But again, go for a trusted developer. Look for something with some added features like, ability to locate your phone if it’s lost or maybe have an ability to wipe off all the data inside the device if it’s lost and you are not able to retrieve it back.

Important to Read: Android Security Tips

It is not that hard to avoid malware and viruses on your smartphones. Just make sure you follow all the steps mentioned above and you will be just fine. The lack of network security knowledge is the main reason mobile viruses are spreading rapidly in India. Some users in India are still not completely aware of the damage mobile virus might bring to their mobile life while many users aren’t familiar with removing these tricky viruses from their devices. Let us know how are you dealing with this issue or feel free to ask any questions regarding this, in the comments section below.

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