Do you know what madware is? I’d heard of malware, spyware, and various other malicious programs that affect our computers, but I hadn’t heard about madware until recently. While most of us haven’t heard of madware, chances are that you have been affected by it.
What is Madware?
Madware is something that affects Android phones that have apps, especially free apps, installed. It causes your phone to have (usually) unwelcome advertising in photo albums, calendars, notification bars, or even your ringtone! Almost 50% of all free apps that display ads use madware and that number is increasing. Even popular apps, such as Brightest Flashlight Free and Angry Birds can use madware on your phone.
I’ve been fairly selective about the apps I’ve installed on my phone but have still gotten those occasional notifications that made me go, “where did that come from?” I was surprised to learn that even some of the “trusted” apps were vehicles for madware.
How to Protect Your Phone from Madware
Whenever you install a new app, it needs to ask permission to perform certain tasks on your phone. If any of the permissions they are requesting look suspicious, don’t install the app!
You may know of Norton from their popular anti-virus protection software, but they also have an app that can help protect your Android phone – Norton Spot. “Norton™ Spot is an ad blocker, detector, killer and stopper.” Once installed, Norton Spot will monitor your apps and alert you of any apps that can spam your device with unwelcome ads.
After installing Norton Spot on my own Android phone, I found three apps that had “medium” annoyance levels for ads. Norton Spot notified me of the offending apps and gave me the option to uninstall the culprits. It really made it easy for me to identify the apps that were causing madware and delete them as needed.
If you have an Android phone, head over to the Google Play app store and download Norton Spot to start protecting your phone from madware. It’s easy, and free, to install.
Disclaimer: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Norton. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.