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Bait app

Bait app

Bait app definition

Bait apps are mobile apps designed to lure users into downloading them by promising features that do not exist. These apps aim to generate revenue by displaying excessive ads, encouraging in-app purchases, or subscribing users to premium services without clear consent.

The best way to avoid bait apps is to go over the app’s reviews, ratings, and permissions requested to find if the app is legitimate before you download it.

See also: potentially unwanted application

How bait apps work

  1. Misleading descriptions. App descriptions often advertise features or benefits that exaggerate what the app can actually do. For example, an app might claim to offer comprehensive virus protection for free but, in reality, provides minimal to no security features unless the user pays for an expensive subscription.
  2. Aggressive advertising. These apps use aggressive advertising strategies that disrupt the user experience — like every time you complete a level on a puzzle game and once every two minutes, regardless of what you do on the app. Users often find themselves bombarded with ads, some of which might be difficult to close, potentially leading to accidental clicks that generate revenue for the app developers.
  3. Data collection. Bait apps might collect user data under false pretenses, claiming they need it to provide services, only to sell it to advertisers and other third parties without your consent.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security