Statistics show that as of September 2020, there are 2.7 million apps available in Google Play and 1.8 million apps to choose from in Apple’s App Store. That means a lot of competition and struggle to remain on top of the ranking. However, some copycats want to take a ride with someone’s popularity and ranking. The fact that there are fake apps out there can pose harm to app users especially if it involves money and stealing of personal information.
So how would you know if it’s a fake app?
- Fake apps pose security updates and clicking on the links lead to your information being stolen.
- Watch out for spelling errors and incorrect use of language because fake apps are made in haste.
- Poor-quality logos and cheap interfaces are characteristics of a fake app.
- Fake apps have short, generic paid reviews and negative feedback about being deceptive.
- Fake apps promise some shopping discounts and other deals that are too good to be true.
- Invalid email address and no official website are common to fake apps.
What can you do to avoid installing a fake app?
- Before installing an app, make sure to do research if it’s a legitimate app by checking if it has an official website and a valid email address where you can contact the developer in case you need a refund or if you have issues with the app.
- Check on the reviews. It’s strange if an app would not get any 1-star review because fake apps usually pay for reviews which are all 5 stars. The reviews will also tell you if it’s being used by real app users or they’re just showing short and generic comments.
- Take time to read the app description to check for incorrect use of language and spelling errors because fake apps are done in a haste they usually just copy-paste a description from the original app.
- If anything is suspicious on the app permissions, do not install the app. Never click a link that says you need to enter your credit card number or any other personal information to avoid risk.
- Download apps only from official sources like Google Play and Apple’s App Store. There may still be fake apps from these sources, but at least there is less risk of downloading virus and malware from unknown sources.
- For added security, set your app store settings to “Do not allow third-party app downloads from untrusted sites.”
Remember to always “Think Before You Click”. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
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