Like all technology, mobile apps can be infected with malicious code, or malware, which is intended to gain access to your mobile phone when you download the app. Although app stores try their best to not allow malicious apps to get into the store, monitor apps once they are included in the store, and delete ones that they deem malicious, apps infected with malicious code and malware have proliferated and are a continuing problem for users. In one estimate, 2 percent of the top 1,000 App Store apps are malicious, according to a report by the Washington Post.

According to the website The State of Security, “Three million Android users may have lost money and had their devices infected by spyware, after the discovery that the official Google Play store has been distributing apps infected by a new family of malware.”

The Autolycos malware “spies on SMS messages, contact lists, and device information, and subscribes unsuspecting users to expensive wireless application protocol (WAP) services.” A list of the affected apps include: Funny Camera, Vlog Star Video Editor, Creative 3D Launcher, Wow Beauty Camera, Gif Emoji Keyboard, Freeglow Camera, and Coco Camera. Another reason not to download a camera app.

HotHardware suggests to users that they delete a larger list of infested Android Apps, which are part of the Android HiddenAds family, that were installed over 10 million times:

“Here’s a look at the full list of apps that fall into the HiddenAds category…

  • Photo Editor: Beauty Filter (gb.artfilter.tenvarnist)
  • Photo Editor: Retouch & Cutout (de.nineergysh.quickarttwo)
  • Photo Editor: Art Filters (gb.painnt.moonlightingnine)
  • Photo Editor – Design Maker (gb.twentynine.redaktoridea)
  • Photo Editor & Background Eraser (de.photoground.twentysixshot)
  • Photo & Exif Editor (de.xnano.photoexifeditornine)
  • Photo Editor – Filters Effects (de.hitopgop.sixtyeightgx)
  • Photo Filters & Effects (de.sixtyonecollice.cameraroll)
  • Photo Editor : Blur Image (de.instgang.fiftyggfife)
  • Photo Editor : Cut, Paste (de.fiftyninecamera.rollredactor)
  • Emoji Keyboard: Stickers & GIF (gb.crazykey.sevenboard)
  • Neon Theme Keyboard (
  • Neon Theme – Android Keyboard (
  • Cashe Cleaner (
  • Fancy Charging (
  • FastCleaner: Cashe Cleaner (
  • Call Skins – Caller Themes (
  • Funny Caller (
  • CallMe Phone Themes (
  • InCall: Contact Background (
  • MyCall – Call Personalization (
  • Caller Theme (com.caller.theme.slow)
  • Caller Theme (com.callertheme.firstref)
  • Funny Wallpapers – Live Screen (
  • 4K Wallpapers Auto Changer (de.andromo.ssfiftylivesixcc)
  • NewScrean: 4D Wallpapers (
  • Stock Wallpapers & Backgrounds (de.stockeighty.onewallpapers)
  • Notes – reminders and lists (”

Be wary of these specific apps, but in general, research apps before you download them, only download apps that are needed, understand what data apps are collecting from you, and delete apps when you no longer use them.