Updated: January 16, 2020 8:41:00 pm
For many people, third-party app stores are a great place to sideload apps on Android especially for getting apps that are not available on the Google Play Store. However, these app stores can put you at risk of losing your personal data. Google Play Store and the Apple App Store are the safest places to download apps but that doesn’t mean these platforms are free from all kinds of harmful applications as well. To stay safe from malicious apps you need to be extra careful and keep some things in mind.
Keep a mobile security protection
“There is no way to find out if you have a malicious app on your device or not unless you have some sort of mobile security protection,” Venugopal N, Director of Security Engineering at CheckPoint India told the Indianexpress.com in an interview. Since smartphones do not just have our personal data it needs to be secured with a reputed security app. Venugopal emphasised on the need to install a mobile security feature on a smartphone as we do on a laptop.
Avoid using third-party app stores
As already mentioned, even though the Google Play Store and Apple App Store may feature malicious apps, the risk is highest on the third-party app stores. If you are trying to install an app that is not available on Play Store, proceed only if you trust the app. It is advised that you do not try to download paid apps that are available for free on these third-party app providers.
The restrictions for app developers are reportedly the highest on the Apple App Store so there are lesser chances of you finding a malicious app there. Comparatively the regulations are not that tight on the Google Play Store, so more apps are available here which may also lead to a higher risk for the users. In this regard, the third-party app stores run the highest risk of offering malicious apps to the users.
Other tips to stay safe
Even if you are using only the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store to install apps, always read the app description before you download a new application. Also, pay attention to the permissions asked by the app before you tap on allow. If you are still not sure, spend some time reading the reviews of the device. If there is something fishing about the app, you may find it out in the app reviews.
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