Posted on January 5, 2018 at 11:05 AM
Fake apps: How to identify and avoid them?
What is the first thing an individual does when he gets a new phone? Yes! Out of excitement, he starts downloading all types of applications in his phone, for example: wallpaper apps, game apps and other social apps. BUT in all this excitement, he forgets about the security of his phone and the data stored in the device. STOP and wait for a minute or two because there are a number of fake apps out there. A good look at the application before downloading it into your system will do no harm. The availability of an app on Google Play Store or App store doesn’t confirm it’s authenticity.
What can a fake app do to your phone?
Problems come when we least expect them. It is similar with having fake apps in your phone and not being aware of it. If you have accidentally downloaded any fake app, your phone will start lagging. Sometimes there are fake apps in your system but they are invisible. The best way to ensure that there are no fake apps residing inside your device is to check your application manager.
A fake app can create troubles that you haven’t even imagined. It can automatically download other malicious applications into your system to extend its attack. A fake app can provide gateway to other viruses or malware to enter into the device and steal your personal information. Other fake apps can even take pictures of your surroundings or send text messages to your contacts. If you find ads all over your phone, uh-oh action need to be taken immediately. Identify the apps whose activities seem suspicious and run antivirus software to protect your device from the intruders.
How to distinguish fake apps from real ones?
There are a number of fake apps existing in the big internet bubble that you neglect on your daily basis. Hackers, scammers and intruders are 24/7 ready to hack or steal your personal information without your knowledge. Sometimes fake apps act as security updates and by clicking them you hand over your personal information without being notified. Let’s see how you can identify fake apps around you.
Do some research about the developer:
Before downloading anything in your phone, you should first check who has actually developed the app. It is important because the fake apps have similar app names but different developers’ name. In addition to this, if you find an app suspicious, you can always look it up on the internet to confirm its legitimacy.
2. Does the picture and reviews seem genuine?
After looking up the name, the next thing to check is the picture of the app. There is a slight change in the logo of an original and a fake app. Also, the reviews might give us a hint of the app being fake. Most of the time an application having all 4-stars and 5-stars is considered as good. But remember! Most of the time, not always. Fake app developers can easily pay for reviews that are not valid. So, always go through the reviews.
3. Review the published date:
A fake application will have a recent published date compared to an authentic app. An original app will always have an ‘updated on’ date which may help you in knowing the difference between the apps created by criminal developers and the original ones.
4. Review the permission access:
The permissions which you grant to the application while downloading into your phone must be reviewed. If a gaming app is asking for access to your photos and contacts, that is not a good sign! Fake apps will always find a way to get into your system’s memory in order to steal the data so that their developers can earn money by selling your identification.
5. Check the quantity of downloads of the app:
An app having less number of downloads clearly points to something suspicious. Fake apps usually have little to no downloads or downloads above than expected. Therefore, you should try not to install the apps having very less number of downloads because this is the point where its authenticity is questioned.
In a world full of technology which is developing day by day, it is difficult for an individual to protect himself and his personal information from hackers. Intruders can attack your personal device through different links, messages and apps. Therefore, it is necessary to take the safety measurements beforehand and protect your devices from potential dangers. Stay vigilant because when you download a fake app, you put money in criminal developers’ pockets. No app comes with a message that it is fake which is why you must be more cautious of what you are going to download into your cell phones. A simple rule that you should follow is to think before you click.