Our Android Play store offers countless apps to cover the evolving digital landscape requirements. However, it’s crucial to prioritize the safety of your personal information and device.
As technology is growing and moving to the hands of each dn every one, cyberattacks and malicious applications problems are also rising. So, it becomes really important to verify an app’s safety before installing it on your Android device.
Fortunately, if you slightly make yourself aware of the little things while installing any app, you can figure out whether it is trustworthy and secure. In this article, we will explore a few effective ways to assess the safety of an Android app before you download it.
By following these methods, you can make better decisions and safeguard yourself from potential risks. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
How to check if an Android app is safe to install
Below-mentioned tips will help you to ensure that the app you are planning to download from the Play Store or third party is safe and will safeguard you from any potential cyber threat:
Avoid third-party app stores
Not all app stores have the same level of reliability, and it’s important to be cautious when planning to download an app from third-party app stores due to the potential risks they possess.
While alternative app stores like GetJar and Amazon Appstore may seem appealing as they offer a range of free and discounted apps, straying away from official app stores like Google Play comes with inherent risks.
Keep in mind that if an offer seems too good to be true, it’s advisable to exercise caution and prioritize the safety of your personal information as well as your device. When you decide to install apps from third-party app stores, you bypass the security measures put in place to vet apps for potential malware. This opens the doors for hackers to infiltrate your devices with malicious apps.
So, even if you believe you’re being proactive by downloading the latest PUBG mobile app from an unofficial source, you might unknowingly be inviting a malicious trojan that can pilfer login details from all your apps, including sensitive banking applications. Suddenly, you find yourself unwittingly funding a stranger’s losing streak in Las Vegas, all thanks to this inadvertent breach of security.
Verify app authenticity
When evaluating the safety of an Android app, you can start by examining the size of the application. This is mentioned on the download page. If you notice that the file size is unusually large or smaller than similar apps, it could indicate potential malicious activity. Such apps might come bundled with adware or other undesirable programs that could get installed along with the app itself.
It’s also advisable to read user reviews and check for complaints regarding suspicious behavior or malicious activity. If multiple users have raised concerns about the app containing malicious elements or being a scam, then you need to take these warnings seriously. Moreover, be vigilant of the possibility of fake reviews that could be posted by the app’s illegitimate developers themselves.
If the app has numerous positive reviews, it’s crucial to cross-verify those comments. Fake reviews are generally short, enthusiastic, and generic statements like “Amazing app! Love it!” They typically lack specific details or feature highlights. Also, keep an eye on poor grammar, spelling errors, excessive keyword usage, or unusual language in the app’s description. These signs can serve as red flags and suggest that the app may not be genuine or trustworthy.
Check app permissions
If you come across an app requesting device permissions that appear questionable or unnecessary, it is essential to stay extra cautious in such situations. You can review an app’s permissions within the Google Play Store. All you have to do is go to the app’s page, tap on “About this app,” and then select the Permissions menu. This section provides a summary of each permission and what it enables the app to do.
Be vigilant for permissions that seem suspicious, especially if the app doesn’t clearly indicate a corresponding feature that necessitates those permissions. For instance, if a Solitaire game app requests permission to access your device’s microphone, it would raise concerns. However, such a permission request would be reasonable and relevant in the case of a video editing app.
It is crucial to exercise extra caution when encountering apps that request dangerous permissions. These permissions include the ability to access sensitive information such as your location, stored files, phone calls, text messages, or audio. Malicious developers may exploit this information for profit by either selling it or holding it for ransom.
Check for app certification
The Google Play Store implements several security measures to ensure the trustworthiness and reliability of its apps. One prominent feature is Google Play Store Signing, which necessitates developers to utilize cryptographic keys to sign their apps. This process ensures that the software remains unaltered and comes from an authorized developer.
It is always advisable to check for app certifications as they indicate that the app adheres to specific security standards, has undergone thorough inspections, and is deemed safe for users. Opt for downloading apps that are Google Play Protect Certified, as they have successfully passed security checks and are certified to be free of malware. Additionally, the “Top Developer” certification serves as a reliable indicator that the app has been created by trustworthy and reputable developers.
Also, consider the app’s download counts and history while evaluating its safety. You can examine the app’s release date, update frequency, and any reported security incidents. Malicious developers may attempt to manipulate download counts by employing bots or fake accounts to repeatedly download their apps. This information helps in making an informed decision about the app’s trustworthiness and reliability.
Check the installation process
Certain scams or fake apps employ tactics to deceive users by slipping undesirable elements through their terms and conditions. These cunning developers exploit the common tendency of individuals to simply click “Accept” without reading the fine print. Consequently, users unknowingly grant access to activities such as data mining, data sharing, intrusive pop-ups, and other potentially unfavorable practices. The key to addressing this issue is to be diligent in reading all the details.
When encountering an app that presents you with terms and conditions upon opening, it is crucial to carefully review them. If the terms remain excessively complex or perplexing, it may be safer to just close the app and uninstall it to mitigate potential risks.
Well, these were a few steps that can ensure the Android app that you download is free from any malicious elements and safe to download. You should be cautious of third-party app stores and prioritize trusted sources like Play Store. Also, make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully before installing an app.
By being vigilant and taking these precautions, we can enjoy a secure app experience on our Android devices.