Be warned: Scammers are making fake versions of popular apps to try and steal your personal data, so it's important to do your homework before downloading any app. How can you spot a fake app — the kind designed to get malware onto your device? Take these precautions:
Stay Alert – Fake Apps Are Real Problems
- Do some research. A developer with few reviews or downloads could just be starting out. On the other hand, they could be a scammer intent on tricking you into downloading the app. Perform an internet search on the app and the developer. Most legitimate developers will have a website that showcases the app and any additional apps that company has made.
- Read the available app reviews. If they seem short and nondescript, chances are good that the app is a scam. Also look for reviews from users that were previously duped by the app.
- Notice the details. Do the images of the app look professional? Good design can indicate a good app, since scammers are usually in a rush and simply throw images together. Look for mismatched fonts, misspellings, and non-symmetrical placement of logos and images.
- Check for thorough explanations and details. Does the developer say exactly what the app does? Legitimate app developers will provide a clear explanation of instructions and features of the app.
- Watch for clones of popular, established apps. Examine the name of the developer to see if it matches up with the app. Note the number of reviews — hugely popular apps will have hundreds, if not thousands, of user reviews.
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