Authenticity The app store is brimming with applications, some productive, others not so much. However, hiding among so many authentic apps is a small number of fake apps designed to harm your device. After all, cell phones hold a lot more of your data than you realize.
Cell phones constantly collect data, from your location to the time you spend on each app. Furthermore, with online transactions becoming more common, cell phones have become the perfect target for hackers. They create fake apps to lure unsuspecting victims into downloading the said app and stealing all their personal information. Such apps are fully capable of completely controlling your device.
Why are fake apps dangerous?
If the apps on your device are not authentic, your data is at serious risk. Once you download a suspicious app, it asks for shady permissions that can compromise your security and privacy. Once you grant those permissions, it can easily access all your resources, steal your personal information, infect your phone with viruses, and even access other apps using your credentials.
What’s scarier is that there’s no direct way to check an app’s authenticity. For all you know, you could download a suspicious, malware-filled app that eerily resembles Instagram, and you would have no idea until it’s too late.
So, what’s the solution?
All you can do is take a few precautions and ensure the app is authentic before downloading. You can also install a secure password manager to store all your passwords. This way, even if a hacker gains control of your phone, they can’t access your password-protected applications.
But with so many password managers on the market, choosing one can be overwhelming and confusing. After all, you may not know how to compare password manager applications and find one that provides the best protection. Authenticity Choose an application by looking at the security they provide. Generally, apps with multi-factor authorization, encrypted file storage, and security breach alerts offer protection that’s impossible to bypass.
Today we’ll look at six ways you can ensure the authenticity of every app you download. Keep scrolling if you wish to learn more!
Six ways to ensure the authenticity of any app
Check out the app developer
One of the first things you should check before downloading any application on your device is the information on the application developer. Some of these details can help you identify whether the app is authentic or not.
Here are a few details that you should verify about the app developer:
- How to get in touch: can you reach out to them via their given details?
- Do they have a website listed?
- The motivation behind the app.
- Do they respond to questions and concerns?
If the app is authentic, it’s quite easy to reach out to the developer personally. Plus, they readily respond to any questions or criticisms aimed at the app. In contrast, a hacker doesn’t bother responding to the end user.
Look at the number of downloads
Another thing to look out for is the number of downloads. You should always check out the total number of app downloads before downloading it on your device. This number reflects the app’s popularity among the end users. If the app has many downloads with tons of positive reviews, it’s a solid indicator of its quality and shows that it is well-received among its audience.
On the other hand, if the app has little to no downloads, it’s a precursor that the application isn’t that useful and is probably not worth downloading. Finding out how popular an app is by looking at how many people have downloaded it is a simple and fast approach to evaluating its usefulness.
Check out user reviews
Perhaps the most trustworthy technique to determine whether or not a mobile app is legitimate is to check online reviews left by actual users.
Those who are already familiar with the app will have the most useful information to provide. First-hand accounts are the gold standard when it comes to learning about a person, business, or product since they provide fresh and accurate insights about the product in question.
Spelling mistakes are a huge red flag
Legit developers who put their app out on the app store proofread their copy to ensure that it gets downloaded by as many people as possible. In contrast, apps created with malicious intent don’t have a clean and concise copy, and it’s usually ridden with spelling mistakes as the developer doesn’t care about quality. Messed-up sentence structure, poor English usage, and tons of spelling mistakes should raise questions regarding the app’s authenticity.
Before downloading any application, go over the copy; if there are mistakes, avoid using it.
Check out when the app was published and its last update
A trustworthy and ethical app developer will constantly ensure that their software is compatible with the latest versions of the operating system.
You should avoid using any software in which you encounter any of the following situations:
- There is no new information or corrections are added after the publication date.
- It’s been almost a year since the last revision.
Not updating apps frequently after release means the code and application are not up to date with the latest security infrastructure and are probably buggy, which puts users at risk if they choose to install them.
Avoid suspicious offers
Most malicious apps make outrageous promises or claims, such as giving you a chance to win a huge sum of money or a massive amount of valuable goods.
Don’t get too worked up about a claim that installing a certain app can increase your odds of winning a million dollars just by sitting on the couch and doing nothing. Never take an app seriously that makes such ridiculous claims.
If you still want to try your luck, verify that the app meets the abovementioned requirements before downloading the app in question.
There are a plethora of apps available on the app store that can make your life a lot easier. Whether it’s productivity, mindfulness, entertainment, exercise, or even calorie counting, you can easily find an app for whatever you need. However, it’s important to take the right precautions before downloading any application from the app store to avoid falling prey to a hacker. Consider the above-discussed tips to ensure you only download authentic applications.