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Ecommerce Applications Are Not As Safe As You Think, Researchers Have Alerted Frenzy Black Friday Sales

Shoppers Beware! Retail apps may track your place, messages, and references without any clear warning. Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping weeks of the year, with some retailers loading up apps with extra holiday-themed deals. But while these sales may be tempting, they come with a price: Your data may not be as protected as you think. The investigators looked at 640 famous shopping apps and found 160 of them had privacy issues.

Researchers advise that, contrary to popular belief, clicking the "grant all access" option provides such privileges just to the application they've installed, ecommerce applications is beyond safe. Although you may not notice these permissions being used, they can be exploited by hackers in a variety of ways. One survey showed that 66% of the shopping application examined stored information on the device in plaintext, meaning that user data is at risk of being stolen through social engineering techniques or physical theft.

The apps that have incorporated libraries have swelled the ranks of the 6,000 most popular Android apps on Google Play Store. Not only have they been able to provide their services for free, but some are also making money from displaying ads, which Android apps may not be able to do without enabling ads in their host app.

Developers are increasingly using shopping apps to target ads, some of which install ad libraries without the consumer’s knowledge.

Contrary to popular belief, shopping apps can be dangerous. Researchers warn that malicious code could lurk in your favorite stores and apps that you wouldn’t even think of as specifically designed to spy on you.

In 2016, a Trojan infected some of the popular apps in Google Play Food & Drink category and offered ad revenue. The Trojan, dubbed “Android Spy.305” by researchers and Doctor Web, was found to be tied to an advertising library that helps developers monetize their apps.

Although shopping apps are all the rage this week, researchers warn that they’re anything but harmless. In a new analysis of more than 1,100 apps, researchers found that paid and free apps alike used ad libraries in a way that posed serious privacy threats.

Shopping apps have come under fire since it was discovered that a couple of them were tracking and storing user data, but researchers warn that it may be just the tip of the iceberg.

A new study by personal finance app Pocket Analysis reveals that shopping apps can be dangerous pieces of malware. Three out of every five studied apps have accessibility to your database, the research shows. This indicates that in addition to keeping data on your smartphone, apps also can snap images, recordings, and record videos in another 22.3 percent of all claims.

Smartphones and shopping apps are a marriage made in hell. Researchers started to look into this matter, concerned about what it means that the average usage time of shopping apps is 29 minutes per session, while on your smartphone they have access to tons of personal information. How easy is it to not think twice when agreeing to provide a shopping app with extensive access to both your location and contacts?

Despite the purported benefits of shopping apps, researchers say that for many users, the rewards don't outweigh the risks. App permissions are one of the most powerful ways in which apps can communicate with each other and with the device operating system, so it's important to understand what they are, where you can find them, and how to revoke them. Allowing applications access to your account information also enables them to find (16.7 percent), add or delete (4.4 percent), and also utilize (9.4 percent) your user information.

Although analysts alert us that these applications are essential for purchasing, we are unsure about the need to read our messages and voice recordings.

App permissions are immensely helpful to user experience, but they come with some caveats. The likelihood that an app would seek additional permits increased with its popularity; the highest buying applications in the US requested nearly 22 percent more permits above the industry standard.

Read next: Protect All Of Your Data On Laptops Before You Take Them For Repair Because There's A High Chance That Technicians Snoop On It

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