20160714

Android Malware Detection Provides False Security (Technology)


Today I'm going to discuss adware. Adware is contained in software to generate revenue for the software company. It pushes advertisements of apps and other products, which consists of marketing propaganda designed to evoke emotions in the targeted audience, who are technology consumers.

On an Android smartphone, advertisment revenue generated by adware is shared between Google and app developers for apps offered on the Play Store and by third party providers. Play Store also offers apps to detect adware, but sometimes its detection is misleading.

As an example of this, the antivirus app AVG gave a false positive for Play Music on my smartphone. When I checked out AVG Threatlabs for this "threat", it stated: "Beware of Adware! No potential malware has been detected for this android app for the last 7 days. However, active adware was detected. ( Last updated: Jul 14, 2016 )".

Gee, thank you, AVG; I know all apps have active adware.

As an AVG subscriber, my use of AVG and AVG Zen (a Device Manager clone) provides the company with monthly and yearly revenue, just so they can tell me adware is active on my devices.

It sems as though I'm paying for a false sense of security. So the easy fix is to cancel my subscriptions to AVG and avoid clicking on ads that seem sketchy.

According to the AVG Threatlabs website, Play Music contains active adware: as part of Google's marketing scheme, it is also being included with other useful software for smartphones (Android and iPhone) and desktop computers.

Yet Android adware is included in almost all apps on Google Play Store. Therefore the AVG Threatlabs message that warns me to "beware of adware" is a scare tactic used by the company to influence users of the AVG products to subscribe to their service.

My, how subtle is the marketing propaganda for AVG is.


Here are optional instructions on how to turn off access to unknown sources of Android apps and how to opt out of ads targeting you. Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for what you do after reading these instructions.

Only two things need to be done:

1) Turn off access to third party providers Unknown Sources) of Android apps by turning that setting off in System Settings: Security under the heading Device Administration. The Unknown Sources option should be deactivated. If it's not, then I am going to assume you know what you are doing.

Optionally, you may want to control what ads you see.

2) In System Settings: Google: Services: Ads, you may opt out of interest-based ads and click on Ads by Google which will run Chrome, loading Ad Settings.

Note: Opting out won't completely stop ads — the Android Central article about Android Malware Scanners article provides details.


Android Central: Android Malware Scanners: Should You Use One?

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