How To Identify Fake Apps in the Google Play Store

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The first thing we do when we purchase a new phone is to install apps, all kinds of them; games, messaging, wallpapers, media streaming, utility, etc. However, when we do so many of us just assume all apps are secured as they are being downloaded through the play store. However, it is not uncommon for The Google Play Store to be in the news for the occasional fake and malicious apps people may find on there. It is for that reason we should be cautious about every app that we install on our phone to ensure that it does not land us in the crosshairs of hackers and scammers. Below you will find some simple tips on how to identify fake apps in the Google Play Store.

Tips on identifying fake Android apps:

  1. Always do some research on the developer of the app you plan to install. On the Google Play Store, you will be able to find the developer’s name is right below the app name. Search the developers name on Google and search through the results. A genuine developer is most likely to have a website and other valid and verifiable details on the net.
  2. Check out the developer’s profile too. Apps that have the tags “Editor’s Choice” or “Top Developer” are more than likely to be a genuine legitimate app.
  3. When installing an app, it is imperative to read all app permissions carefully. When in doubt the best rule of thumb to abide by is to ensure that the permissions asked by an app must comply with its functions/features. For example, if a flashlight app is requesting permission to access SMS, call logs, media files, etc., then this is definitely a red flag and not an app you should be downloading.
  4. It is important to note that not all apps in the play store are in fact “apps”, rather they are just meant to redirect to mobile websites. The point of this is to get you to open and click their ads and other links that eventually profit the developer. Developers that create genuine apps are typically useful to the user and not to the mobile websites that try to scam you into clicking on ads or other links.
  5. Always pay attention to user ratings and reviews prior to downloading an app. In most cases, if an app is fake or malicious, it is likely that you will come across reviews that say so. Also be cautious of overly exaggerated reviews that praise the app for those too could be an indicator of a fraudulent app.

Google Play can from time to time contain risky apps, however even with this minimal risk it is still much safer than unofficial and third party app stores. Whatever your reason for downloading an app from a third party sources, be aware that you are risking your privacy and security by doing so. A simple way to eliminate these risks is to download a mobile security app that can perform constant, give you real-time updates, block fake and malicious apps from getting installed on your device, and that can also block infections spread via compromised websites.

The post How To Identify Fake Apps in the Google Play Store appeared first on Cybersponse.

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CyberSponse Incorporated, a global leader in cyber security automation & orchestration, helps accelerate an organization’s processes, security operations teams and incident responders. The CyberSponse platform enables organizations to seamlessly integrate, automate and playbook their security tool stack, enabling better, faster and more effective security operations. With a global presence, offering an enterprise platform, Cybersponse enables organizations to secure their security operations teams and environments.

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