Beware of Pop -Up Apps

  • Sun Jul 22nd 2012

Your email account has a spam filter, but what about your cellphone? Advertising companies, in a bid to sell products, are using pop ups on smart phones.

Some smartphone users talk about their experience with pop-up ads.

"I just find them annoying," says one user while the other chimes in, "Sometimes they stop, sometimes they don't."

According to a new study, thousands of smartphone apps are running ads, that can change your phone settings. They can also steal your contact lists, without your permission.

"Invasion of privacy," states one smartphone user.

Researchers say, aggressive advertising companies, disguise ads as a text message or an app icon.

Then it may download your contact list, and sell it to other marketers.

This means your friends, coworkers or family, may now get spam messages, because you downloaded a rogue app.

Some users are angry at this implication, they say,."We certainly did not give permission for that."

Are these pop-up ads worth the headache?

Doug Simon, President & CEO of DS advertising and marketing, has this to say.

"If a company is looking to put these ads on people's mobile devices, which is highly personable, it's really a slippery slope for them. The content has to be so compelling, and powerful to be received it has to be a greater risk than benefit. You're putting your brand at risk. The bad feelings that you're generating may grow to outweigh the good feelings, even if there is a short term benefit"

He says you should be especially wary of free apps- they are usually the ones that hold your phone hostage.

"They might offer us great things like free music, but in the fine print,you give them permission to give your information to marketers," warns Simon

It may sound scary, but researchers say it's not a giant problem yet.

Security analysts say five-percent of free mobile apps, use spam ads. But the number is growing.

"You never know what they could steal, perhaps your credit card information," states one concerned user.

While it's hard to avoid some of these aggressive apps, protect yourself by reading reviews and avoiding apps with lots of complaints.

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