Smartphones

10 Android apps that could get you fired

Sure, you can download all the apps you want on your personal devices. However, if you download the following Android apps on your business phone or tablet, you could get in a lot of hot water at work.

Personal life

4. Meet HOT people: MiuMeet Flirt

There's a time and a place for dating, and work typically isn't one of them. This app lets you "Meet, chat, flirt, play & party with people who are near you right now for free!" I know it sounds more interesting than fixing buggy code or untangling wires in your server room, but if your boss finds out, your social calendar may all-of-sudden be wide open -- that is, when you're not spending your time looking for a new job.

I know that there are several dozen dating apps out there, but I don't discriminate. You should avoid them all on your business phone, including HotGayDating.

5. Pocket Girlfriend

"Beam me up, Scotty" might have a whole new meaning with the Pocket Girlfriend. This little app is described as "An exotic, erotic, hot & sexy girl avatar with voice recognition in your pocket." There's a pretty good chance that this one would violate your company usage policy, especially if coworkers are privy to your app and find it offensive (hey, you never know). Even if you download this app on your personal mobile, please keep it in your pocket, fellas.

6. Wank-o-meter

No, I'm not kidding. Again, if you have this on your personal phone, don't pull it out at work. Wait until you get off.

Even more Android apps that could get your fired.

About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

37 comments
dl_wraith
dl_wraith

I totally agree with the view expressed here that Smartphones are nothing more than small PCs. After all, I use my own Droid as such and replaced my laptop with a docked Android tablet. I can attest to the idea that pretty much anything my laptop can do, my Android can also do in one way or another. Connecting to company shares? Check Running open ports and insecure services? Check Scanning and cracking wireless networks? Check Password breaking? Check Acting as removable storage? Check Reading/authoring documents and various types of files? Check Connecting to the internet bypassing company proxies and filters? Check Acting as a rogue wireless hotspot? Check Illegal filesharing? Check Accessing pornography and other inappropriate material? Check The list goes on and on but you get the point (and no, I don't do all this with my Android devices, I'm just supplying an example here). IT admins in corporate environments need to get smart about smartphones. HR and Compliance departments need to think about the correct policies to have in relation to these sorts of mobile computing devices. These challenges aren't new - we had all this once users started to bring their own laptops to work and demanding connections. We suffered all this once guest access to corporate environments became the expected norm. I'm confident that we can deal with smartphones too if we just stop and think intelligently about them.

RCrossett
RCrossett

How about a list of Android apps that are known to be security risks? The Top 10 Android Apps to Avoid.

Wireeater
Wireeater

Can I get in trouble for reading this?

pgit
pgit

A bit too harsh, perhaps? I agree an open port is an open port, but there is a bit more complexity, and more "willingness" you might say, on the part of a web server, as opposed to the likes of a secure shell server. Both open one port, but web servers do get cracked, ssh servers don't fall down on any weakness in the code. (if they're compromised it's bad passwords or other user error) BTW there's one great reason to run a web server on your phone: "...because I want to!" (Imagine spoken by a whining 13 year old) I don't have a 'smart phone' either and can't see myself getting one any time soon. As far as I can tell their primary function is to supplant applying makeup as the main distraction while driving. Added bonus in that the men are now in play, effectively doubling the number of threats on the road.

Smartron
Smartron

I don't know what to tell you but "a app a day keeps the doctor away" . (TM) AndroidCommand.com The list of apps is getting long but I will add it to the end. This is just silly but I love the fact that people have time for this.

MaeIstrom
MaeIstrom

So a "Senior Editor" is quite happy to slander a piece of software with no known defects as a security risk purely on the base that it's a web server and web servers are "baaaad"? Do you have any idea as to why a webserver would be more vulnerable than any other piece of software that opens a port on your device? I know Jack doesn't - his entire expertise in technology is clearly limited to inserting a new linux CD every 2 weeks and banging on the enter key. Perhaps the two of you can discuss due dilligence as you've just joined him in the "never to be taken seriously" box.

Lindsphj
Lindsphj

Duh! If its company equipment, what the heck are you thinking? If it's NOT company equipment, why is it turned on/active in their world? (take a look around at lunch, remember the cameras they installed to catch trespassers, also photograph employees). Anyone who does this stuff should be let go, for naivete or stupidity!

pgit
pgit

I wouldn't imagine samba would be an automatic out... it could come in handy and in many circumstances be approved for use... And I agree with the above sentiment, there should have been one category; "porn." The 'girl in your pocket' just being one of the more benign of such things.. :p

dhays
dhays

Those would violate any company procedures, I am sure! When I first got my phone and was perusing the ones available, I was surpised by how many were available--did not dowload any (personal phone, don't have a need for company phone). Do such caveats include using a personal phone for business and the company paying a portion of your monthly bill? I would guess it would.

tim
tim

... like DON'T root your company phone!?!

Tink!
Tink!

in that list. Sound advice though!

daremos
daremos

Thanks for give me 10 nice applications for my tablet

jeffer3
jeffer3

I appreciate your reply to GG, there are a lot of users who don't have the time to find and try useful apps, I believe you would have a lot of great feedback from TR Members too. I loved this article as a reality check for a Monday morning - apps I couldn't imagine, but that shows how technology is shaping our world. Thanks.

cbw5005
cbw5005

I'd imagine you should refrain from doing any non savory web browsing on the work device as well. Android and iPhones are miniature computers, and for the most part are capable of right near everything a PC is. Although I've yet to hear someone get reprimanded for accessing ill advised web pages on their work mobile device, I'm sure its only a matter of time.

upstatelee18
upstatelee18

If a company is afraid of the apps an employee is going to have on their phone, first of all the phone is made for communication and therefore they could simply give their employees phones that don't download apps. If they have to have phones with apps preload the necessary apps and monitor the phones (since if they can afford to give one to the whole staff, they can afford to monitor them also). that way there could be no issue as to what their employee is looking at with the company phone, then just establish a rule where personal phones are not allowed in the workplace. this is coming from someone who works the retail end of IT and can't have a phone on the floor anyway.

seanferd
seanferd

I wonder if there will be a sudden spike in drug testing, with nearly all negative results. I can't imagine doing anything I've seen in almost any game. I wonder if Ten Minutes To Kill Yourself has caused a spike in mandatory counseling sessions, and denial of access to things like staplers and paper shredders.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

to continue to believe that, in many cases, the phone is smarter than the person. Present company excepted, of course.

gadgetgirl
gadgetgirl

for example, best apps for movies, best apps for shopping, best apps for satnav etc? That would save a newbie apps user like me one heck of a lot of time. Yes, there are loads of apps in the Android market, but it's so badly organised that it's a navigational mess. I tend to google "best app for....." so I know to search for what appears to be the best in the market. Just a thought..... oh, and thanks again to Deb Shinder, whose review of the Samsung Galaxy Tab made me go out and get one - it's been invaluable due to personal circumstances over the past three months. You just know that the one liners you stuck in there had me in gigglefits, right?! 7am on my Saturday morning too - made for a great start to my day. Thanks Soni! GG

MaeIstrom
MaeIstrom

Well it's been 8 months now since Sonja chose to slander a program based on the speculation of a fiction writer with neither expertise or accreditation in computer security and the number of security exploits for the kWS web server?.. 0! For the record I have no affilation with whoever makes kWS, I just think clueless journalists are bad for the planet. There's a great anecdote from one of the original netscape programmers at http://www.jwz.org/gruntle/blowme.html that illustrates the problems they cause rather nicely. Given Sonja can find the time to make idle chatter with other respondents but prefers to let inconvenient facts (albeit harshly worded) be down-voted under the carpet by her lolcat loving cronies I would have to say, after careful and deliberate consideration, the original judgement of "never to be taken seriously" stands vindicated. Also you're wrong about ssh servers. There's no inherent reason why an ssh server wouldn't have weaknesses in the code and a comparison of discovered vulnerabilites between the openssh server and the publicfile webserver by DJB would make for an enlightening read.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Not only can I not think of any legitimate business reason for it, I can't think of a rational reason for running a web server on any wireless device.

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

which is why I included the Pocket Girlfriend. I'm sure my browsing history looks VERY suspect! LOL!

daviddag
daviddag

In most cases mobile devices, are harder to monitor than traditional hardware. I agree with you that it's only a matter of time. Since there are already apps such as LogMeIn Rescue that can access a phone remotely to offer support, i would assume (I not yet looked for the apps) that you can get apps that monitor usage or even add a level of parental control for mobile devices.

daviddag
daviddag

Companies that give employees smartphones to use, expect their employees to abide by company policy. Most employers have a code of conduct for PC's & laptop usage that should be followed on any other device given to empoyees to use. You are welcome in most cases to use you own device however you wish, as long as that does not violate corporate policy, e.g viewing porn at work. Employees have already been fired for what they say on social network sites about the company or the boss, so why should this be different. The bottom line is that you represent your employer / company even when not at work, and they pay your salary.

jtjenkins213
jtjenkins213

I will, I will burn this building down...

jamblaster
jamblaster

I don't think there is a 'Best' App for everyone concerning any type of app. Just like some prefer Chrome and others Firefox or Windows vs. Linux; personal preferences play a huge part in choice of media.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

Bad GG! "Best apps for..." has sadly turned out to be every spammer's wet dream! They even dug up this thread because of those three words. EDIT: Could also be the other wettening phrase "[insert integer] [insert mobile OS] apps", but still... GG get in line for a spanking!

ksbubbs
ksbubbs

Best apps aren't as funny as the bad apps. Weed Farmer, Wank-O-Meter and virtual girlfriend are pretty funny in my book.

seanferd
seanferd

Just wanted to say hello. :D I suppose I'll read the article now. :^0

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

especially when I have a interesting topic to work with. ;) I will take your topic and run with it, GG! As always, thanks for the feedback.

MaeIstrom
MaeIstrom

But given I'm yet to be convinced of the need for a smartphone in the first place I'm probably the wrong person to ask. As for running a web server on any wireless device I can think of almost as many reasons as I can for putting one on a wired device. You should try harder ;)

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

aka "the digital pimp" will certainly try to "set you up with a little something something" for a while... :p

tHeSmUrF300
tHeSmUrF300

Well-well look. I already told you: I deal with the god damn customers so the engineers don't have to. I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people. Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

But if I need to run a web server over a wireless connection, I'm still going to put the server on a wired device and connect it to the wireless. SO much more flexible that way...

tHeSmUrF300
tHeSmUrF300

Yeah, well, at least your name isn't Michael Bolton. You know, there's nothing wrong with that name. There *was* nothing wrong with it... until I was about twelve years old and that no-talent ass clown became famous and started winning Grammys. Hmm... well, why don't you just go by Mike instead of Michael? No way! Why should I change? He's the one who sucks.

BelgianChocolate
BelgianChocolate

More of these brilliant lines coming from one of the most hilarious movies I've seen! - Sooner or later I'll be showing her my "O"-face.... O-O-O... - Hey Peter man! Check out channel 9,Check out this chick!! - You don't need a million dollars to do nothin',man... My cousin,he's broke > don't do shit! - Oh oooh,somebody's got "The case of the Mondays"... - Do they have conjugal visits? - I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be! - Back up in your ass... with the resurrection..! XD

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