It's either I had virus on my phone or some apps I installed lately started to add shortcuts on my home screen. These shortcuts look like apps and will take me to the download page of the apps. I like to block this behavior but I don't even know which app or virus is doing this. I like to know if there is a master switch to turn off this feature or if there is an app where I can monitor such activity. Thanks.
INSTALL_SHORTCUT is not the only permission an app can use to create shortcuts on your home screen - especially if your shortcuts take you to "the download page of the apps."
INSTALL_SHORTCUT usually only run once, but permissions like
WRITE_INTERNAL_STORAGE can give an app unlimited power to run however many shortcuts on your screen - and direct you to ads to boost the developer's revenue. This is often seem for some non-playstore apps because they do not have to obey the rules from Google.