My kid’s devices got adware all over them

My 7yo was asking me why YouTube Shorts was popping up advertising yesterday. This was odd because, well, it just doesn’t. She’s got one of my old phones and the ability to install games without parent approval. I did this so I could sleep rather than having to explain to a kid for the umpteenth time that no free app was going to give her Robux no mater what it claimed.

Identifying which app is advertising to you
An example only – Google Maps was not tossing casino ads.

She’s been oddly pretty good at not getting garbage up until recently. I heard her phone singing on the charger as some ad was playing today. Advertisement for an online casino was on my 7yo’s device, strange enough. Since it was at the lock screen there was no easy way to locate what was advertising there. Yea, it’s against Google Play store policy to not have a clear display of where the ad is coming from. I couldn’t locate it from there.

I popped open the phone and let it sit and within a minute an ad was playing. Using the select app button/function/swipe I was able to locate the app by tapping on the only thing running and showing app info and uninstalling it.

I did this for two other apps that popped up including one that showed up but had no corresponding launcher icon… tricky tricky there…

While the best practice here is to not let your 7yo install anything, at least this time the cure was as simple as hitting the program select, tapping the icon, getting app info and uninstalling. If you’re tracking down an ad you might want to clear all recent apps (usually about 5-6 swipes to the left on program select) and wait for it to pop up.

Ads are annoying, and casino adware targeted at 7 year olds are part of some advertising scheme that doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense except whoever wrote the adware is probably trying to cash in for a quick paycheck before the advertising platform they’re using kicks them to the curb.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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