While Google’s open door policy has many advantages, it comes with its own share of risks. Some apps published on the Play Store are not only fake, but pose a serious security threat by compromising the data on the phone and tapping into the messages and the call history. A recent such example showed up in the form of an app called ‘Virus Shield’. The app claimed to be an antivirus program that could protect the phone from malware, spyware and such. It even claimed to boost your phone’s speed by one touch. The $3.99 app quickly climbed to the top spot on the ‘Top Paid’ list on the Play Store. In the two weeks that it was listed, the app managed to get 10,000 downloads with a 4.5 star review from 1,700 people.
However, as discovered by Android Police, the app is a fake. the only thing it does is change an “X” graphic to a red “check”. It doesn’t really offer any kind of security and was created by a scammer who had earlier been banned from another website’s forums for similar reasons. Google has since taken down the app, but the users who’ve purchased it already have been robbed of their money, unless Google steps in and pays them a compensation.
This does raise questions about how effective Google’s strategy with Android is. With Microsoft also having automated the process of app approval on Windows Phone Store, it seems no one except Apple users are completely safe from such crooked schemes.