Out of 412,000 apps in the store, this 25% pose a security risk to mobile users, according to Bit9, the security software firm that analyzed the apps’ security permissions.
Among its findings: 72% of apps use at least one high-risk permission; 42% access GPS location data (including wallpapers, games and utilities); 31% access phone numbers or calls; 26% access personal data such as contacts and email; and 9% use permissions that can cost users money. For more details, check out the infographic, below.
“A significant percentage of Google Play apps have access to potentially sensitive and confidential information,” Harry Sverdlove, chief technology officer of Bit9 said in a statement. “When a seemingly basic app such as a wallpaper requests access to GPS data, this raises a red flag.”
“Likewise, more than a quarter of the apps can access email and contacts unbeknown to the phone user, which is of great concern when these devices are used in the workplace.”
Recently, Android phones have come under scrutiny after the FBI‘s Internet Crime Complaint Center found malware that targets Android operating systems. Wireless company T-Mobile is ramping up protection against malware and viruses by preloading select Android devices with a free security app.
Do you double check apps for safety before downloading them from Google Play or the App Store? Tell us in the comments below.