From Google Play to the Apple Store, there are millions of apps that promise to add functionality and entertainment to our devices in any number of ways. Just like every other space in the cyber sphere, not all of them are legitimate. Threat actors create fake apps and counterfeit versions of real apps in order to steal your payment information, contacts, and other private data. Vigilance is the key to keeping your devices and your business secure from fake apps.
Before installing your next app, perform a little due diligence to make sure that the app is actually legitimate.
Check the name, description, and other details
- Watch out for misspelled words, awkward wording and poor grammar
- Check if the icon is misshapen or different from the legitimate app
- Look for doctored screenshots
Research the App
The creator should have an official website where you can find:
- Who developed the app
- What company the app comes from
- Other apps the developer has built
- Direct link to the download in the app store
Read the Reviews
- Most popular apps have been on the market for a while and will have both positive and negative reviews
- An application with a long history of updates is more likely to be authentic.
- Check the review history for detailed customer experiences through several update cycles
- Look at negative reviews for complaints about performance and device problems
- The published date should read “updated on” instead of just a specific date
Beware of Deep Discounts
- Too good to be true? “Premium” apps that promising you excellent features at a bargain basement price could be counterfeit
Check permissions and policies
This should be SOP for any app you install
- Know what permissions the app needs to function on your device
- Know what personal data is being collected and why and how it will be used
- Be cautious if apps request authorizations they don’t need
- If you disagree with what the app/company data collection policies or usage, choose a different app
Be Part of the Solution
- Help eliminate fake apps and make the app stores safer for ALL users.
- If you find an obvious forgery or accidentally download a fake app yourself delete it immediately and report it to the app store.
Knowledge is Power!
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