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5 ways to detect and avoid fake/dangerous apps on Google Play Store

Google’s Android has surpassed iOS in becoming the major OS for smartphones. With over 2.6 million apps on the Google play store as on December 2018, you definitely won’t run out of choices. However, many of us assume that these apps are safe as they are from the play store.

No two apps are the same

It is not uncommon for the google play store to be in the news for some fake or malicious apps. It is for that very reason why we should be vigilant about what apps we choose to install so we can avoid being victims of hackers and scammers.

A fake app can be misused to collect personal data of the user or even scam the user financially.

Although, Google is actively trying to bring effective countermeasures like the “Play protect” security feature to tackle these apps, it’s in the users best interest to be attentive about what they choose to install on their phone.

How do you avoid fake/ dangerous apps?

Below you will find some tips on how to identify fake and potentially dangerous apps.

Stick to the play store and pay attention to the thumbnails of the app

This might be obvious but it’s crucial that you avoid downloading APKs from third party sites as they are often not secure. Also, pay close attention to the thumbnails as imposters often don’t bother putting in the effort to perfect their scammy product as a legitimate developer would.

Check installation numbers and rating

Bad apps are often less downloaded and have poor ratings — a dead giveaway to stay clear of them. You can find their ratings and installation numbers below the install button.

Check the description

Checking the description can give you a good idea of the quality of the app. Grammatical, spelling errors and vague description are dead giveaways of fake and potentially dangerous apps.

Look at the reviews

Most apps will have rating and reviews section just below the description from which you can gather a good idea about the app before you hit the install button.

Look for the developers

It’s a good idea to check out about the developer of the app. It’s listed directly below the name of the app and you can find their website, contact details and social media links at the “Developer contact” section below the review section.

Now that you understand how to spot a fake app what can you do if you come across one? If you want to help, you can by notifying Google using the “Flag as inappropriate” option on the top right drop-down menu.

Follow these five tips to stay safe and spot fake and potentially dangerous apps which might scam you or compromise your data.

Also read: How to manage app permissions on Windows 10?

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