Today ESET researchers showed us how most popular security apps are scams. That’s a harsh reality – but it’s real. The vast majority of highly-downloaded, downloaded en masse apps made for “security” aren’t providing security at all. What they’re providing instead is a whole lot of advertisements and what ESET describes as “pseudo-security.” It’s a real mess.
A total of 35 massively popular security apps were recently flagged by the team at ESET and reported to Google. All 35 were taken down from the Google Play app store. Yes, if you were wondering, ESET investigated Android apps this time around – but the lesson is just as applicable to iOS apps.
While there ARE good security apps out there, they’re not easy to find. This is because the way app stores – all app stores – operate today, malicious app-makers can easily game the system. Using bots to positively review their apps, they’re able to take the place of good security apps with relative impunity.
Instead of relying on an app store to provide results for what we might search for: “Security app,” for example, rely on external reviews from your favorite news source. I’m not suggesting you, for example, just search for “SlashGear security apps review” – search the web. I’m not trying to get you to trust SlashGear and dismiss every other tech blog.
“Instead of shady apps with flashy names and icons and outlandish, unsubstantiated promises, seek a reputable security solution,” said ESET researcher Lukas Stefanko. “And which one to choose? An independent test by a well-respected testing organization might help.”
Trust your favorite tech blog to do the work they’re here to do. Real humans doing real reviews of products. We’re here to help, and I implore you to trust what we stand behind. Go forth and research before you download – it’ll save you from potential headaches in the near future.