In today’s time and with new technology, almost everything has an app. If you need to buy food for your pets, you can easily get it delivered with just your phone, and for shows, you don’t even need to turn on the television anymore—just simply download an app and pick the series you want to watch.
While apps make our lives easier and everything more accessible, they are also a danger. Many cybercriminals use apps to victimize people into giving their personal information. They create fake apps for big or local brands and hope that people will fall into their trap. If you want to spot a phony app quickly, you can do so by following our tips below.
1. Check the Developer or Publisher
The first thing that you should always check is the developer or publisher of the application. This is the easiest way to spot a fake app because you should be able to check if the developer is legitimate or not.
If the developer’s page seems empty, new, or just sketchy, you may want to back away and double-check the application. Professional businesses will hire reputable and legitimate developers to create their apps.
2. Look at the Release Date
If the app has a ton of downloads, it should have been around for some time. However, if it’s relatively new with many downloads, you may want to be cautious about it. These downloads may just be bot downloads made by the developer or cybercriminals behind the app to make you think it is the correct application.
3. Read the Permission Agreements
When downloading an application for the first time, it will request permission to access certain things on your phone. Most people simply skip through these permission agreements, clicking the “allow” button as many times as it takes, without even reading what they allow the app to do.
Make sure to read every permission agreement, as many as they may be. Most apps will probably request location access and even file folder access. However, if the app requests access to your contacts or specific apps like your banking apps or your messages, that can put your privacy at risk. Professional business apps will not invade your privacy.
4. Check the Reviews
Read the reviews about the app you are planning to download to see what people are saying. You should be able to tell whether the reviews come from actual people or bots. Only consider reviews from real people and see what they say about this app. These reviews should tell you whether the app is legitimate or fake.
5. Visit the Business’ Social Media Profiles or Website
Most businesses will include the link to their official application on their social media profiles or website. If you are still hesitant about looking at the correct app for a specific business, you can check their accounts or website and look for the link there. Alternatively, you can send them a message and ask them about their official application.
Protect yourself from being the victim of cybercrimes by always being cautious. When downloading apps, follow our tips above to avoid accidentally downloading a fake one and placing your private information at risk.
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