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Mobile Security: 5 Smart Tactics to Avoid Fake Apps

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Posted October 28, 2018

Being an Android user, it is the greatest fun to download new apps with latest and unique features. However, numerous appealing apps are being used by malicious entities to interrupt user privacy and to gain access to their sensitive data. If you are a user of iPhone, Android phone or Windows phone then you might be a victim of downloading the fake app.

Image credit: Pixabay.com

Some individuals are fortunate enough that the app only damages their phone. However, a fake app could also use your personal information in a foul way and this could be a total nightmare.

It is really common to store pictures, personal details, and other data on our phones which shouldn’t be discontinued because of such reason. But, you shouldn’t let go of the issue and must follow easy ways to spot fake apps before downloading any app.

1. Always Use The Official Source

There are least chances of getting a fake app from official sources such as Google Play or Apple’s App Store. These app sources carry out a thorough process of security check before making any app officially available to the general public. Automated checks are made, after which real humans deeply analyze the code of an app to figure out the accurate nature of that app.

Although, the fraudulent software can still creep through but, venturing outside the Google Play or Apple App Store could leave you open to extreme risk.

2. Analyze the User Review of The App

For many products, the third-party endorsement is considered the most authentic part and it really is. If an app has numerous reviews and downloads then it is a good sign in favor of that app and its legitimacy. However, it is important to know that most of the fraudulent entities use popular names such as Netflix or WhatsApp for trust building.

With the user review, you can get an idea about the app’s efficiency and the probability that it is collecting information or not. People usually enter their complaints if the app is too much problematic or run suspicious operations. Yet, in this case, also, you need to act wisely. The scammers never let any chance of presenting the app legitimate and they post positive reviews from their end to fool the people.

You can figure out the fake reviews as they are mostly short and claim the app to be the top rated. On the other hand, the authentic reviews are protracted with the details of app performance.

3. Read The App’s Description

App’s details are not only important to know the features and capability but it also gives you an instinct that the authority behind is trustworthy or not.

If there is a little description with vague information then it could be a symbol of warning. Most of the cyber goons don’t invest much in writing as the fool people with an eye-catching logo.

Similarly, the writing could reflect bad grammar and punctuation if the developers are just keen to get your personal details. However, popular companies execute proper workout and hire copywriters for writing app’s description. If the startup is small and could not invest in a specialized copywriter still there are not major writing mistakes.

4. Search For The Developers Behind An App

Fake apps don’t spawn on its own there are of course some developers behind it.  You need to search for the developer to avoid the downloading of a fake app.

Sometimes when you search for the popular names such as Snapchat then you most probably get a long list of Apps. Yet, there is the only one which is real. It is also possible that the other existing apps are legitimate but they are designed for different things.

Unfortunately, the malicious app tries to present themselves as the real version of that particular app so that they could gain most downloads. However, mostly the authentic version is just below the app title or on the first place.

Other than big names, you should be more careful while downloading the products from unfamiliar developers. Therefore, it is vital to look for developers and their background.

5. Check The Official Website Of App Developer

Big names are also new at any moment and to measure the authenticity of new interesting product you just search it on the internet.

Almost all the new products have their official website, a Wikipedia page or they are mentioned in an authentic publication. Official websites are a great advantage because it is the most appropriate way to get a real version out of numerous fraudulent ones.

Also, you should look at the website URL which has HTTPS and a green lock symbol showing that the website is secure with an SSL certificate. SSL certificate makes sure that the connection between your device and the website is encrypted.

Is It Reminding You Of Any Fake App?

You might have recalled a fake app you have downloaded or the moment you have seen such patterns of fabrication. At that time probably you have not reacted to it but now you can easily judge the legitimacy and also you can report it.

On Google Play Store, they give you an option to report the app by clicking the option “Mark as inappropriate” in the description. However, if you are Apple user then you need to navigate on their “Report a Problem” Page and sign in from your Apple ID.

Talking to a broader perspective, fake app is just a small issue from many security and privacy risks linked to the Smartphone.

Author Bio

Zehra Ali is a Tech Reporter and Journalist with 2 years of experience in infosec industry. She is also the Editor at PrivacySniffs.

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