Every day, hundreds of apps secretly harvest your personal data on behalf of other companies or countries. Two of them, particularly downloaded, have recently been discovered.

Smartphone applications have definitely changed our daily lives in recent years. Whether it’s to get news of those around you, order a taxi or protect yourself from online threats, there are now a multitude of applications available on iPhone and Android smartphone.

It is not uncommon to discover that these same applications store and exchange our personal data with external companies, even countries other than that of the user. In particular, it suffices to register on Facebook or another social network to be offered the possibility of disclosing personal data. But this is more problematic when these shipments are made behind the user’s back and to another country.

At the center of the latest concerns of a research firm specializing in security, there are two applications available on the Google Play Store and Android devices. Detecting them is simple: they are called “File Recovery: data recover” and “File manager”. These applications that offer to recover your lost files, accidentally deleted or hidden in other applications, have already been downloaded hundreds of millions of times since their release. The first of these even had several million downloads on the Google Play Store.

Several cybersecurity researchers have made an astonishing discovery about these two applications: they spy on and share their users’ data. Among the various data collected by these applications, there is sensitive information such as:

And many other sensitive data that can allow any hacker with a little talent (and with bad intentions) to harm the user. The data collected in this way was sent directly to servers in China, behind users’ backs, whether they used the application or not!

We can therefore strongly recommend that you quickly erase these two applications from your smartphone. To do this, Open the Play Store app, at the top right, tap the profile icon and then “manage apps and device”. Finally choose the name of the application you want to remove and press “Uninstall”. It will probably be more prudent to run a little antivirus or anti-malware afterwards to ensure that you no longer have any potentially unwanted files on your device.