Millions of smart phones are currently receiving strange Push-Notification-Adverts (PNA), which to the very least are annoying.
Most of these adverts are large in size and may sometimes cover the entire phone screen. At times, the adverts may produce strange sound notifications which are distractive and unpleasant to many phone owners.
These adverts have turned mobile phones into marketplace without any form of planning or due diligence. "The adverts are very annoying since they pop-up with some weird sound at the least expected moment," laments Jude Titus who works with Standard Group PLC.
Colossal amounts of money in digital advertising business has forced many publishers, developers as well as manufacturers to come up with witty ways, means and methods for reaching out to consumers. Record number of smartphones where infected by eerie malware between 2012 and 2014. Since then Android technology developers have put in place measures that would deter such digital snags, but embedded digital villains are always one step ahead of technology developers.
Once installed as part of a downloaded mobile app, the malware will clone itself in a way that it can fit within a smartphone's cache. The malware will then receive and authenticate broadcast or display of an advert from temp files to your screen – and sadly, you have very little control over that screen display.
Advertising malware follows junk pattern in which it remains in your phone temp files even after uninstalling mobile applications that carried them along into your phone. The malwares can also be transferred to your smartphone from unprotected Wi-Fi and web browsers – following infected links which by default will blight all devices and networks in the chain.
Malwares can be removed using simple tools like 'Clean Master', which can easily be downloaded from Google play store. This tool has been developed to clean smartphone's operating systems and storage capacity in a way that gets rid of all junk files from your phone.
Pirated or cracked apps are another way that cybercriminals use to infect Android phones with malware. They get legitimate Android application package (APK) file and bind it with a malicious program in a relatively simple process that can infect millions of Android phones across the world. Most pirated or cracked apps usually contain some form of malware. It is this malware that automate Push-Notification-Adverts (PNA) to your phone screen display.
The future of advertising will be more personalized on digital devices, as such these smartphone-driven adverts are just but the imminent digital marketplace. However, it should be done in a more organised and controlled environment that embraces accountability from the developers and phone manufacturers.
Some of the smartphone security lapses are due to negligence of the buyer of the phone who doesn't take time to follow the right procedures when configuring a mobile phone for the first time. Smartphone's operating system setting enables a user to allow or disallow direct advert display, especially adverts that come from specific developers like the Google Company. Essentially, the owners of the smartphones unknowingly allow some of the advert-displays on their mobile phones.
The most common Android malicious apps will do at least one of the following:
Collect and send GPS coordinates, contact lists, e-mail addresses etc. to third parties
Send SMSs to premium-rate numbers
Subscribe infected phones to premium services
Record phone conversations and send them to attackers
Take control over the infected phone
Download other malware onto infected phones
"Push notifications ads" delivering alerts to a phone's notification bar – when the user swipes to pull down the notification bar from the top of the screen, an ad shows up under Notifications.
"Icon ads" inserted onto a phone's start screen – when the user touches the icon, it usually launches a search engine or a web service.