Software applications are no longer limited to smartphones. The app ecosystem is ever-evolving and expanding from smartwatches to TVs. Whether it is Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store, you would come across an array of apps catering to various purposes. But a majority of these apps can compromise the security of your devices.
A majority of us have the illusion that the app store belonging to Google and Apple filters out the fake apps and thereby keeps our security intact. To an extent, this is indeed true. But with emerging technologies, developers have become quite brilliant, and thus, they sneak into the app stores unnoticed.
Billions of smartphone users enjoy the convenience that today’s mobile technology offers. With the increase in the number of smartphone users, there has been a drastic rise in the activities of cybercriminals. So with these things in mind, let’s take a glance at what are fake apps and how to spot them..
An Overview of Fake Apps
As the name suggests, fake apps don’t entirely execute the amenities they promote. They rely on names that seem legitimate so that users are tricked into downloading the apps. Some of these apps may offer services that aren’t available quickly, which compels the users to install them. And once you install them, they can wreak havoc on your device.
For instance, fake apps display ads on your smartphone’s screen, record your location, download malware, etc. In simple words, it can damage your data, device and privacy. To increase the curiosity of users, cybercriminals want their malicious applications to be appealing.
An app with unrealistic features is likely to be a fake app. You should always be careful while downloading general apps from the Play Store. This is because a large number of cybercriminals target Google Play. The Play Store is based on the distribution model.
The Working Mechanism of Fake Apps
Well, the prices of developing and distributing a fake app are pretty easy to execute. Moreover, a cybercriminal can index themselves as app developer on any app store. This makes it easy to distribute the fake app across various channels.
The issue of fake apps infiltrating the Play Store has been a nagging issue that Google wants to encounter earnestly. That’s why Google has developed ways to combat this issue. For instance, Google Play Protect regularly scans the installed apps in your device to ascertain anomalies. So now that you know about the various aspects of fake apps, let’s take a glance at the ways you can spot them.
How to spot fake apps?
There are many users of smartphones in the world and it increases each day as the requirement to use the smartphone increases every day. As the requirement increases more apps are being released on the play store and app store. Hackers are also gradually increasing on the mobile devices. They have created many ways to affect the smartphone users and the most common way is to create an exploited or fake app. If you have ever been a victim to such app and don’t want to go through the same again check the app if it’s fake or not. You can easily check it by keeping the following points in mind.
1. Go through the Reviews Carefully
Going through the reviews of a specific application is a great way to discover any potential issues other users face. For instance, if you notice an array of negative thoughts, refrain from downloading that particular app.
But make sure to take a closer glance at the positive reviews as well. Nowadays, cybercriminals are deploying innovative ways to trick individuals. So even if you witness any positive review, deal with the utmost skepticism.
2. Carefully check the Developer
Before downloading any specific app, you should invest a little time in researching the developer. If you don’t know where to start, you can rely on Google. A quick Google search would let you know more about a developer and its reputation. In this manner, you would know whether or not they are a trusted source.
3. Observe the Download Count of the App
Popular apps would always sport a higher download count. Security experts suggest that if an app has less than 5000 downloads, it is not safe to install. The number of times the app has been downloaded also ensures its popularity. Hence, to spot a fake app, you should carefully notice the download frequency.
4. Pay Attention to the Permissions
Usually, a fake app would ask for various permissions so that it can execute its activities. It is imperative that you read the permissions agreement before you commence with the download process. It is a commonly observed fact that fake apps tend to ask for more authorizations which they don’t need.
It is usually a bit difficult to be aware of every app update. That’s why real-time app monitoring is the ideal way to stay protected. Installing various protection measures is a great way to safeguard your device integrity.