In this technology-driven world, but sons have managed to easily learn how to use a tablet and smartphones. It didn’t take long before Ethan was downloading new games and apps and teaching himself how to play them. One day I was looking at our Samsung Galaxy Tablet powered by Android and noticed some new shortcuts for ‘Free Apps’ and ‘Free Job Search’ and a bunch of similar notification in the notification bar. I deleted the shortcuts and cleared the notifications, but had no idea where they came from. The only thing I knew to do was delete most of the apps on the tablet (which my son was not very happy about).

I recently learned about Madware and it has shed some light on these annoying new shortcuts and notifications. Madware is aggressive mobile adware that affects Android devices. It uses aggressive techniques to place advertising in photo albums, calendar entries and push messages to your notification bar. Madware can even go so far as to replace ringtones with an ad. After I learned about Madware, I looked at the tablet’s photo gallery and found 5 new photo folders with pictures that were ads. Seriously? That is insane! Most apps, especially free ones, have some form of ads and Madware is becoming more and more frequent. No only do you have to deal with all those ads while using the app, but now ads are being placed all over your device that you will see when you are not using the app. Less popular apps are 135% more likely to contain the worse forms of Madware than popular apps.

Using Norton Spot to Identify and Remove Apps with Madware

Norton has created an app to identify which apps on your Android device has aggressive ads and are not respecting your privacy. The app can be downloaded for FREE on Google Play.

Norton Spot for Android

Once downloaded, Norton Spot scans your device and then lists the apps by category. You can see which apps adds notifications you the device screen, collects network info, puts ads on the notification bar, etc. You can sort the apps by potential annoyance level. After downloading it on our tablet, I found three apps with a high level of annoyance. Right from the app, I was able to easy uninstall each of them. Even popular apps have madware. It may not be as aggressive, but it can be annoying on your phone.

With these seemingly harmless downloads can come madware (mobile adware) and it proves to be the Trojan Horse of Android’s security. Linking itself to common apps like Angry Birds, Sam’s Club and Flashlight, madware gains access to your personal information, location, settings, and frequently delivers advertising inappropriately.

If you have an Android phone or device, I encourage you to download Norton Spot and make sure you don’t have any high annoyance offenders and remove those annoying ads. View the below infographic for some surprising statistics regarding madware.

Norton Spot Madware Infographic

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