Google Warns Against Predatory COVID-19 Tracking App

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The last couple of months has been ruinous for not just humanity, but also have been disastrous  for the global economy

The outbreak of the Coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19 have had a negative impact on the generality of the human race for barely 4 months now, and it has only gotten worse in recent times, as the deadly virus have been contracted by over 400,000 persons, with death toll above 16,000 as at the time of writing this article.

While the outbreak has not only disrupted the global economy alone, it has also left loopholes for cyber crimes among other atrocities. Despite the agony of the trying times, a lot of so-called “smart tech experts”; hackers especially have found ways of extorting less informed people, herein referred to as ‘preys’.

Time like this have only opened more opportunities for more crimes,  and technology has just been a very strong enabler in this case, especially when used for the wrong reasons. Just a couple of days back, the World Health Organization shared concern about having more hack attempts on their IT than ever.

In the same likeness, some app developers are making use of this opportunity to create exploitative apps that subjects their prey to undue hardship; either by extorting funds from them or by tapping into their ‘supposed’ privacy.

In a recent report by Forbes, Google has reportedly placed a ban on some COVID-19 infection tracking Apps, although, the report also suggests that all of these apps have been cumulatively downloaded more than 400,000 times, just before the tech giant swift into action.

While a majority of these apps are made with the right intentions, a few others have been tweaked to extorts from poor users.  According to our source, a majority of the COVID-19 apps violate Google policy that requires any related-apps to get approval from a national government or a medical institution.

Other reasons for the removal of these apps from Google Store also include fake news and exploitation of poor users. According to Forbes writer, some of these apps send links in form of texts to your phone screen, prompting you to download with promises to allow you to track the spread of the coronavirus.

“Watch out for any links texted to your Android phone promising an app to track coronavirus. Downloading the application will let snoops, suspected to be operating in Libya, watch you through your smartphone camera, listen to you through your microphone or pilfer all your text messages.” the source wrote.

Although, how the hackers get this to work is still very much unclear, however, this new way of scamming innocent people is still a mystery, considering that the guilty parties “disguise as a version of the legitimate “corona live” application, which provides data from the Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker of infection rates and deaths.” the source wrote.

In the meantime, my kind advice to anyone reading this is to stay home, and safe. Also, keep your heads low, and avoid downloading unnecessary apps this trying time. If you need to track the spread of the coronavirus; here is a website to consider Virustracker.askifa.ng

 

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