Beware of the Madware – Android Users Could be at Risk
There is a recent post that discusses a new problem for people with Android-based mobile devices – madware.
Madware is the aggressive pushing of ads to mobile devices (note: this is currently specific to the Android operating system, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t become a problem for iOS users in the future). Android users become victims of madware when they download certain free apps and agree to the terms and conditions (T’s & C’s). Normally, these users become victims because they did not read and understand the T’s & C’s under which they agreed to allow these aggressive ads to be pushed to them.
Obviously, aggressive pop-up ads on a mobile device are a nuisance and aggravating, but they can also be dangerous. Mobile devices are being used more and more to access necessary information and procedures for emergency response, crisis management and disaster recovery. If every page change or information update is accompanied by a series of pop-up ads that must be closed before the user can access needed information or tools, critical response time is being lost. During emergencies, crises and disasters, time is a critical resource and it is not the responder’s friend. Someone once observed that, “The future is coming at you at one second per second.” Time lost in closing multiple, aggressive pop-up ads is time not available to respond to the emergency, crisis or disaster. That time lost is a lost resource that can easily contribute to exacerbating the situation.
Mobile-device users must remain aware of this threat. The solution is to thoroughly read the T’s & C’s associated with all the apps that are downloaded to the mobile device. The problem is associated with free apps. If the app is essential, then downloading the paid app can resolve the problem (again – read and understand the T’s & C’s). If the app is not essential, and it is not worth the price of the paid app, don’t download it to a mobile device that will be used for emergency response, crises management or disaster recovery.