If you think that an unsafe Android app can inject viruses into your phone and can damage it internally, or malware that can steal all of your private & confidential data, then you’re not wrong.
It’s true that an unsafe mobile application if downloaded can harm not only your device but can also cause a disastrous financial loss to you.
Since most of us do online transactions through our mobile devices (because of their convenience), our mobile phones could become a target of several hackers.
These hackers intend to inject malicious codes into your mobile phones after which they can literally control your device in their own way.
Below are some of the ways in which an unsafe mobile app can harm you:
- Track & follow your location
- Steal your personal photos and contacts
- Reading your messages
- Using your credit card details to buy online
But the truth is that we can’t stop installing & enjoying the benefits of applications on our mobile devices just because of a few such hackers.
What’s the solution then?
Before you install any Android app on your device, you must take a few precautions & ensure that this app is safe for you.
In this blog post, I have shared 6 ways for Android users to determine the authenticity of any mobile app.
#1 Know More About The App Developer
This is perhaps the most important check you must perform before you download and install any Android app on your device.
You must first find out more information about the Android app developer.
Below are a few things you must check about the app developer:
- Developer’s contact details: Is the app developer contactable over the phone and email?
- Developer’s website: You can find a lot more about the app developers on their website.
- Developer’s intention: to build that mobile app. You can also check the reviews of this developer’s previous apps.
- Developer’s Responsiveness: How responsive is the app developer to any query? In other words, how good is the support provided by that developer? Usually, a hacker would just develop the apps and don’t respond to the users.
#2 Check The Number Of Downloads
Before you install any mobile app on your device, you must check the total number of its downloads. The number of downloads will reveal its popularity to you.
It’s always a good idea to check the number of downloads an Android app has before you install it on your phone. This can give you a good indication of how popular and well-liked the app is.
If an app has a high number of downloads, it’s likely that it’s a good quality app that many people enjoy using.
On the other hand, if an app has very few downloads, it could be a sign that it’s not worth your time. Checking the download count is a quick and easy way to help you decide whether or not an app is worth installing.
#3 Read Users Reviews
Reading other users’ reviews is perhaps the most reliable way to know about the authenticity of any mobile app.
Those who have been using the app already can tell about the app in a better way. This kind of information is usually known as “first-hand information “ and it is considered the most reliable source to know about any person, company, or product.
#4 Check Spelling Mistakes
Android app developers with hacking or stealing intentions usually don’t care about the spelling of their content. They actually never pay attention to the overall quality of their work. Quite often, they aren’t good at English too.
So you may take some time and check the content for any spelling or grammar mistakes. If you find some, refrain from using these kinds of apps.
#5 Check Published Date & Updated Date
A responsible & reliable app developer would always ensure that his app is regularly updated for the newer versions.
If you notice any of the below cases for any app, you must stay away from them:
a. Only the published date is mentioned and there is no update after that.
b. The update has not been done for more than a year.
The above scenario could be applicable to both hackers who intend to harm you or the developers who just build the apps but don’t maintain them and as a result, if you download their apps, it may harm you, indirectly, because of the outdated software/codes.
#6 Recognise Unbelievable Offers
Usually, unsafe apps would claim to provide you with opportunities to win unbelievable amounts of money or materials.
For eg. If you see an Android app that says you can install it and stand a chance to win one million dollars in a few hours by doing nothing, control your emotions. Don’t believe such illogical & impossible offers.
Even if you still want to try your luck, make sure that you go through the above criteria and then install that app.
Mobile apps are meant to enjoy great experiences or have fun but they could turn out to be a disastrous tools for your device or finances. Therefore, you must check each app that you download, following the above criteria.