From Instagram to Snapchat, camera apps are some of the most popular on both the App Store and Google Play Store.
But a new report may encourage you to reassess which camera apps you have on your smartphone.
The report, by experts at Cyber News, has warned Android users about 30 ‘dangerous’ camera apps that have already been downloaded 1.4 billion times.
In a blog about the findings, researchers Bernard Beyer explained: “When you download a beauty camera app, you’re probably expecting it to add a makeup or cartoon filter on your face for more interesting selfies, or just to clean up some lower-quality pictures you took.
“But in the background, you’re not expecting these apps to scrape and sell your data, plague you with nonstop, malicious ads, redirect you to phishing websites, or even spy on you.”
The researchers analysed the top 30 results that were displayed on the Google Play Store after searching for ‘beauty camera.’
They looked at three factors for each app – the amount of dangerous permissions the apps ask for, the location of the app developers and any history of malware, spyware, vulnerabilities or unethical practices.
Their ‘eye-opening’ analysis revealed that the apps were requesting up to seven dangerous permissions, most of which were unrelated to the app’s main function.
This included permissions for recording audio, using GPS and seeing the user’s phone statuses.
Meanwhile, one app was found to turn your camera on, despite not asking for permission to do so.
Mr Beyer added: “These are non-essential apps that seem to be quite risky. Therefore, we recommend that you practice caution on deciding whether or not to download these apps at all.”
The 30 ‘dangerous’ apps
BeautyPlus – Easy Photo Editor & Selfie Camera
Beauty Camera – Selfie Camera
Beauty Camera Plus – Sweet Camera Makeup Photo
Beauty Camera – Selfie Camera & Photo Editor
Selfie Camera – Beauty Camera & Photo Editor
YouCam Perfect – Best Selfie Camera & Photo Editor
Sweet Snap – Beauty Selfie Camera & Face Filter
Sweet Selfie Snap – Sweet Camera, Beauty Cam Snap
Beauty Camera – Selfie Camera with Photo Editor
Beauty Camera – Best Selfie Camera & Photo Editor
B612 – Beauty & Filter Camera
Face Makeup Camera & Beauty Photo Makeup Editor
Sweet Selfie – Selfie Camera & Makeup Photo Editor
Selfie camera – Beauty camera & Makeup camera
YouCam Perfect – Best Photo Editor & Selfie Camera
Beauty Camera Makeup Face Selfie, Photo Editor
Selfie Camera – Beauty Camera
Z Beauty Camera
HD Camera Selfie Beauty Camera
Candy Camera – selfie, beauty camera, photo editor
Makeup Camera-Selfie Beauty Filter Photo Editor
Beauty Selfie Plus – Sweet Camera Wonder HD Camera
Selfie Camera – Beauty Camera & AR Stickers
Pretty Makeup, Beauty Photo Editor & Selfie Camera
Bestie – Camera360 Beauty Cam
Photo Editor – Beauty Camera
Beauty Makeup, Selfie Camera Effects, Photo Editor
Selfie cam – bestie makeup beauty camera & filters