As the world transitions into the digital age, phishing incidents become more common than ever. From simple brand abuse to faking an Android application, cybercriminals have become more creative over the years. As a result, browsing online has become more dangerous than most people think.
Fake Android apps are standard even on the Google Play Store. The company has made various efforts to collate and eliminate the counterfeit apps uploaded on their store, ensuring every consumer’s safety. However, cybercriminals still find ways to infiltrate unsuspecting consumers with a false sense of security. But how can smartphone users identify fake Android apps from real ones?
1. Check the Source
The safest way to acquire an application is by downloading it from the source. For example, if a website launches its application in the market, they usually let consumers know about it on their website. Try to look at the brand’s official website and find the clickable link that redirects to a page where consumers can download the application directly.
If possible, only download applications directly from the Google Play Store. Although there are malicious applications mixed with legitimate ones, it’s still safer than outsourcing any application from random websites online. In recent updates, Google Play Store has set up various indicators for legitimate applications like a verified checkmark beside an application’s name.
2.Read the Fine Print
Consumers can easily spot the real from the fake applications by reading the fine print. Most of the time, cybercriminals do not upload important details like features or particular uses for applications. Therefore, the fine print is often full of typographical errors and terrible grammar.
In other instances, some fake applications use low-quality images to promote themselves on the Google Play Store. As a result, they look more suspicious compared to other applications in the market that use professional-looking and high-quality images all the time.
3. Avoid Clicking Suspicious Links
Phishing incidents have become digital and personalised. Most cases happen through an SMS, email, or notification that tells smartphone users to download an application to claim their “prize.” Although getting a prize without doing anything is already suspicious on its own, most users fail to realise that cybercriminals try to lure them with fake offers to get access to their devices.
The tools used in digital phishing incidents usually appear as links. The best way to avoid getting scammed online is by avoiding the links sent over SMS, email, and notifications. Unless it’s from a brand or company you requested a link for, never click anything suspicious.
4. Download Verified Applications
Google has become more active in finding ways to protect its users from cyber attacks. To better secure their services, they constantly update and monitor their community guidelines for applications to ensure every users’ safety.
In the recent update, Google tries to check the level of access and application asks from the users. If the key requested looks too suspicious, the company automatically activates the less secure app access to prevent potential attacks on mobile phones or devices connected to the same Google account. As a result, fewer people become vulnerable to phishing incidents online.
Technology has come a long way. However, as long as it continues to develop and succeed, more people will use it against other people. Therefore, by learning how users can protect themselves from potential cyber-attacks through suspicious Android applications, their devices become more secure and less prone to phishing incidents.
FraudWatch is a digital brand protection company. Our goal is to protect businesses from potential cyber-attacks and brand abuse that can turn into bad publicity for the company itself. Check out what we can do to avoid phishing incidents from happening by logging on to our website today.