There are many fake applications on the Google Play Store today. Although Google is making efforts to take action, the flurry of these fake apps just keeps on coming. While some are pretty harmless, there are also malicious ones that can compromise your data and device.
One of the best things you can do is to check whether an app is fake or real. How do you do this?
1. Do a Search
Go to Google Play Store and search for the app name. Then, look carefully at the search results. Most of the time, there will only be one version of the app. However, if you see apps with similar names and icons, most of them are likely fake apps.
Fake apps try to trick you by using the same name and icon as the original app. Check the search results carefully before you download an app.
2. Check the App and the Developer Name
It’s easy enough to find out whether an app is fake or real by looking at the app and developer name. Even if the app name and icons look identical, the developer would almost certainly be different.
Usually, there are only a few developers to choose from, some real and some fake. But if you’re having trouble picking out which developer is the real one, tap the developer’s name, and it will show you all of the apps published by the developer alongside the user ratings for each app.
3. Check the App Description and Screenshots
The app description and screenshots (if available) will also tell you whether the app is real or fake. In the app description, check the spelling and grammar of the words in the description. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.
Screenshots aren’t always provided by the developers. So if you encounter an app without any screenshots, it’s very likely that the app is fake. There are also instances where the fake apps have screenshots of the original app. You can tell authenticity by looking at the quality of the screenshots. If it looks blurry or low quality, it’s most likely fake.
4. Check Downloads, Reviews, and Release Date
The number of downloads, reviews, and release date will also help you determine whether an app is fake. If the app has high download rates and a lot of reviews, and if it’s been around for a while — two or three years — then it is most likely real.
But if it has few reviews and it was just released recently, then it’s probably fake. Most of the fake apps are only available for a short period of time, so they will not have a long track record.
5. Check the Permissions
Many malicious apps gather user data without your knowledge or consent. They may use the data to bombard you with advertisements or share it with third parties. Make sure that you check the permissions that it requires. If the app requires access to dangerous functions, like your call log, then it’s likely that it’s a fake app.
To Sum Up
The Google Play Store is filled with many good and bad apps. It’s important that you know how to avoid fake apps. Taking the time to investigate an app before you download it can save you from downloading a malicious application.
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