How to find out if an app on Google Play is safe or not: rules for Android users

Maria ShevchukLife
An ordinary app from the Google Play Store can be dangerous

The Google Play Store, an application store for Android smartphones, is extremely popular, in part because it contains millions of different applications, both free and paid, that can be downloaded by any user. This number is due to the fairly simple rules for developers who want to give their products to users. However, the advantage of the store is its weakness, as among the large number of high-quality apps, there are also a significant number of dangerous ones that imitate popular programmes.

As experts explain, apps developed by attackers may look safe but hide all kinds of viruses and malware. According to The Sun, hackers use them to hack into your devices and steal passwords or online banking credentials.

NordVPN's cybersecurity expert Adrianus Warmenhoven has shared four rules that will help you avoid falling into the trap of hackers and recognise potentially dangerous software.

Check reviews

On the page of each app in the Play Store, there are reviews from users who have already downloaded it. And these comments can be very useful.

"It sounds obvious, but users are constantly monitoring the apps they use and don't hesitate to warn others when they find problems," explains Warmenhoven.

How many times the app has been downloaded

Reports of a huge number of downloads when an app is brand new can also be a red flag.

"There have been cases where download numbers have been manipulated by fraudsters, so you should definitely be suspicious if an app claims millions of downloads but was released only a few days ago," the expert said.

Check permissions

According to the Google Play Store rules, developers are required to clearly indicate in the app description what permissions it will receive on your phone and what it can control to ensure its operation. If you think that the description contains some strange permissions, it could be a bad sign.

"Be wary if an app asks for permissions that it doesn't need," warns Warmenhoven.

He notes that no conditional flashlight app should require access to your location or microphone.

Do your research

If you still have doubts about the security of an app, do a little research. Each app has a specific developer that should be listed in the Play Store. Click on its name and check if you know the developer of this app, how many apps they have released, and what ratings they have received.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL published a list of dangerous Android apps that should be uninstalled immediately.

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