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These Android Apps Secretly Collect Your Personal Data

by Suzanne Kantra on May 11, 2017

While you may not pay for free apps, many aren't actually free. You pay for them by viewing ads that pop up at the bottom of the screen or by agreeing to share some of your personal data. You should know how you're paying, though. However, security researchers at SophosLabs have found more than 50 apps available through the Google Play store that are secretly stealing personal data.

Many of these apps claim they don't share any personal information because the app isn't designed to share your information. However, these apps use Android XavirAd to serve up ads onscreen, and that adware does collect your information and send it to a remote server. 

Most of the apps on have high ratings with some downloaded millions of times. Sophos estimates as many as 55 million people could be vulnerable. 

Here's a list of the apps that Sophos has identified as having Android XavirAd

3D Theme for Launcher

Add Text On A Photo

Add Text To Photos

Beach Wallpaper HD

Beauty Makeover Photo Editor

Call Recorder Automatic Free

Change Eye Color & Hair Color

Change Hair Color on Pictures

Copy Cut & Paste Photos, Pics

CPU Cooler Master Ram Cleaner

CPU Cooler Master, Phone Cool

Cracked Screen & Broken App

DJ Virtual Mixer Player Studio

Doctor Battery Saver 2X

Emoji Stickers for Pictures

Fast launchers - Best & Small

Fingerprint Lock Screen Prank

Fish Aquarium Live Wallpapers

FT Fonts - Font Style Changer

Galaxy War 2

Image Search Engine & Pic Finder

Increase Volume Louder Speaker

Lollipop Theme Free

Move Apps to External SD Card

MP3 Cutter & Ringtone Maker

MP3 Cutter & Ringtone Maker

Mp3 Voice Recorder Free

My Fonts - Font Changer

PDF Reader Viewer, File Opener

PDF Viewer Document PDF Reader

Pencil Sketch With Color Free

Phone Cleaner Speed Up Booster

Phone Tracker

Photo Album - Slideshow Music

Photo Frames & Picture Collage

Rar Zip Tar 7z File Extractor

Reverse Video Edit & Backwards

Root Checker For Phone Tablets

Scanner App JPG To PDF Convert

Selfie Camera HD & Stick

Simple Screenshot Capture

Sky Air Force Combat 2015

Slow Motion Video Editor Maker

Speed Booster - Ram Cleaner

Text On Photo Editor & Sticker

Text on Pictures Write Photos

Video Maker Photos with Song

Video Player for All Format

Video to Mp3 Audio Converter

Virus Removal & Anti Malware

Volume Booster & Equalizer

Volume Booster and Equalizer

Weather Forecast Widget Clock

You'll notice that many of these apps have similar names. Sophos identified them by the unique URL that Google gives to each app in Google Play. 

If you have one of these apps loaded on your phone, you should delete it.

[Image credit: stealing personal information via BigStockPhoto]


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