Hidden apps draining your phone battery
ANDROID phone owners are being warned about popular apps that ruin your phone and put your security at risk.
Dozens of popular apps with millions of downloads have been outed as "malicious" by cyber-experts.
One of the apps - designed for downloading video files - had been installed more than 5 million times, The Sun reports.
And many of the apps revealed in the investigation hide themselves so they're difficult to delete.
These apps can destroy your phone's battery life, send your info to crooks, and even install more dodgy software onto your device.
Cyber-experts at ESET found as many as 42 apps containing adware, all of which were available on the Google Play Store.
These types of apps are known as "adware", because they serve up ads in mischievous ways.
They'll masquerade as handy tools or games, and will sometimes function properly as an app.
However, they'll show full-screen ads on your display that are difficult to close, even when not using the app.
Often they'll also run ads in the background, slowly draining your phone's battery life and resources while earning money for crooks.
These apps were particularly nefarious because they would send back data about your device.
And they could also install other more malicious software on your phone, like spying apps.
What makes it worse is that the apps would often delete their icons, and replace them with a shortcut.
That makes them harder to delete, because users would remove the shortcut - without realising that the app was still installed on their phone.
Google has now removed the offending apps from the Google Play Store.
But you'll still need to uninstall them from your device, which you can do through settings.