Just because an app is available on Google Play Store does not mean that it is a legitimate app. Google constantly removes fraudulent apps from the Android marketplace, such as fake antivirus, browsers, and games.
Besides Google Play and other app stores, infected apps can enter into your device via many other ways. Hackers will try any means necessary to trick you into installing a fake app. Criminals hack real ids and use that id to send emails and SMS messages that appear to be from your bank. The credit card companies or other brands attract people to download applications that will compromise their data. Sometimes fake apps will appear as security updates, and clicking on the links may lead to your information being stolen.
If you are an Android user and you receive unexpected messages, a strange alert or notification, or unusual requests from what may seem to be your bank or other familiar brands, beware: criminals may be trying to destroy you off.
How you can protect yourselves from these hackers?
Unwanted texts, emails, or sudden notifications that appear to be from a bank, retailer, or other known institution may not always be what they seem. Use caution with any link delivered to you and always read the message before opening it. Instead of opening the link supplied in the message, go directly to the website in question and log into your account. If the message seems particularly worrisome, call the company directly to verify the information before taking any action online.
One more important thing is that only download Android apps from official sources, such as the Google Play Store. Before downloading any app, do some research and then download it. You need to know how many times the app has been downloaded. A violently popular app is a telltale sign of a good app. Firstly, read app reviews, look at the developer, and do a search online. There could be more information coming from other users who have previously been the victim of these crimes. Cyber attackers may try to fool you with fake reviews that are often short and generic, so be sure to check out any other apps made by the developer. The more apps that are developed by the developers, the higher the chance that the developer is the real deal.
Security or software update notifications can be a bit complex to decipher. Often users receive an instruction to install an urgent security update. Your best action in this scenario would be to search online to find out information about the update. If there are multiple discussions online about the specific security update that, you can confirm if it is genuine.
There are clear visual things also that stick out if you want to identify fake Android apps. Spelling errors, shoddy logos, and unbalanced or poorly formatted interfaces are clues the app may be fake.
Finally, if you want to be completely covered, there are some options to keep your device safe.
Always remember to research before you click. Even though there can be a sense of urgency to one-click and install, it is better to take the time and remind yourself of all the signs an app may be fake. An easy protection step everybody should take is to visit your Android settings and make sure that you do not allow third-party app downloads from untrusted sites.
Norton Mobile Security App Advisor for the Google Play Store, which includes in Norton Mobile Security provides comprehensive, proactive protection from the threats on today’s mobile Internet landscape. The App Advisor allows you to examine the behaviors of an app before actually downloading it to the device. App Advisor scans your apps in the Google Play Store looking for features that can invade privacy, display annoying/intrusive behaviors such as pop up ads or excessive battery usage, and unnecessary data usage. If you have Norton then it will surely detect if an app contains malware or is malicious in nature.
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