They are designed to protect your smartphone from viruses, but it seems that several antivirus apps could actually cause more harm than good to your device.
Experts from VPN Pro have warned Android users about 15 antivirus apps that are potentially dangerous.
In a blog about the warning, security researcher Jan Youngren explained: “These apps are amazingly popular and potentially dangerous.
“That’s because they’re asking users to give them a lot of dangerous permissions that they don’t seem to need.
“Permissions like knowing where you are at all times, being able to use your camera, and even using your phone without your knowledge.”
Worryingly, these apps, including Antivirus Free 2019, Clean Master and Security Master, have been downloaded more than 2 billion times, putting users and their precious data at risk.
Scroll down for the full list of dangerous apps.
Mr Youngren added: “Even though these apps have been found guilty of these malicious activities in the past, they’re still available on Google Play and amassing millions of installs every month.”
Based on the findings, the researchers are urging users to be vigilant about the apps they download.
VPN Pro’s advice includes only downloading apps from well-known brands, and double-checking the app’s permissions.
Dangerous antivirus apps
Antivirus Free 2019
Virus Cleaner 2019
Super Phone Cleaner
360 Security Lite
Antivirus & Virus Cleane