Mobile app advertisers are losing nearly $1 Billion per year in ads to zombies. Zombie apps, that is.

We’ve all had it happen. You download a new app – maybe a game or even a simple utility like a flashlight app – and suddenly your phone is acting wonky and running really slow. You check your data, and suddenly you are almost out. Your battery practically drains while it’s charging. You’ve been bitten by a zombie app.

Zombie apps continue to run regardless of what you attempt to do to close them. All the while, the app is running through ad after ad – 16,000+ per day. And zombie apps are virtually undetectable regardless of what type of antivirus you run.

Will turning your phone off and back on again help? Nope. Zombie apps are programmed to run when your device starts. With more than 1 million phones being infected daily, on average, what is the implication for online advertising?

About 1.3% of total online ad dollars will be lost to zombie apps.

Are Apple users safe from the plague? Sorry, not this time. Of the 5,000 apps recently tagged for ad fraud, the offenders were found in both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

How to Protect Your Devices?

Always check the permissions an app requests. Be suspicious of any app that wants to run at startup, prevent your device from sleeping, or that wants access to your location even when you are not using the app.

Financial Implications

Americans already dish out more than $2 Billion per year to combat malware. This threat, however, may cost consumers far more. It already costs businesses a small fortune in ad money.

Where There Is Money, There Are Criminals

The fact is that people are flocking to mobile devices as they once flocked to their computers. The money has moved, and the criminals have followed. This is new territory, and only time will tell what effective solutions can be discovered. Hopefully, more mobile app advertisers will help prevent zombie apps from disrupting their marketing campaigns with apps.