More people are using smartphones worldwide, and connection speeds are constantly improving. Attracted by this tech phenomenon, cybercriminals are increasingly exploiting mobile apps to gain access to users' private personal information. It's possible to reduce the risk of being exposed to one of these fake apps, and this FAQ will show you how to get started.
Recognize a Fraudulent App
Use Only Official Apps
The first tip to detect a fraudulent app is to check if it was downloaded from an official website or app store. If it's a free app and the system tries to make you believe that you have to pay for a special service, you should be wary. If the image quality is low, but it's a well-known large company, you should also exercise caution.
Pay Attention to the Description
Sometimes the best way to identify a fraudulent application is simply to read its description carefully. If it contains misspellings or unprofessional wording, we recommend you be careful as it could be a fraud. Check the description of that app carefully to see if your real name matches the one in the title.
If you still have doubts, check out the permissions requested by the app. If they are invasive and require you to accept too many permissions (your image gallery, contacts, calendar, and social networks, etc.), it could be fraudulent. In addition, by reading the permissions you can also identify if the app incorporates paid SMS services, a usual red flag for this type of trap.
Is It Too Good to Be True?
As a general rule, be suspicious of those free apps that offer you services that are normally paid. This tip applies especially to video games
. If the people in your environment had to pay to be able to download that new game, the free version is likely a fraud.
Check Other Users' Rating
One of the internet's advantages is to connect users, even helping to identify fake applications. If you pay attention to the evaluation and comments from other people who have already downloaded the application, you will be able to discover if it is an official program or a fraud. Another indication of fraud is the excessive use of advertisements.
Photo: © Twitter.
This document, titled « How To Spot a Fake App », is available under the Creative Commons
license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM