How to spot a fake app on Android and iPhone? | Technology

Android and iOS have several layers of security, but they may miss some malicious apps, also called fake apps. These services disguise themselves as legitimate tools, but it is possible to identify suspects before downloading them.

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The main tip to avoid a fake app is to download only from the official store of the mobile operating system: the Play Store, on Android, and the App Store, on iPhone (iOS). Unofficial stores have lower security levels.

Apple’s app store often offers more protection, but it’s not immune to malicious apps. Meta, which owns Facebook, claimed to have identified in 2022 about 400 illegitimate apps for Android and iOS that aimed to steal users’ passwords.

  • How do you know what data your apps are collecting?
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The application pages in the Google and Apple stores present some information that may indicate whether the tool is legitimate or not.

How to identify a fake app?

1) Check the app developer

On the Play Store and App Store, developer information appears just below the app name. In general, this space informs which company is responsible for the service, such as the bank that manages an app to access the current account.

If the developer name is not related to the app’s brand, it is possible to suspect that it is a fake app. It is worth remembering that, in some cases, the name of the computer company that developed the application is displayed instead of the company.

See where to check the developer of the apps on the Play Store — Photo: Reproduction

2) Check developer contact

The “Developer Contact” section on the app’s Play Store page shows the email and website of the company that created the app. In the App Store, there is the link called “Developers Site”. It is important that this data is consistent with the developer.

In the case of government applications, for example, most of them are registered in emails ending in “.gov.br” and “.jus.br”.

Application registration email can help you find an official app — Photo: .Reproduction

3) See the app release date

The “About this app” section on the Play Store shows details about the app’s release date. In general, an app that has been in the store for a long time is more reliable than one that has just been released.

At the same time, be wary of old apps that use the name of tools that have emerged recently, such as a government-created service. In this case, the app may have changed its name in the store in an attempt to attract victims.

Application registration and update dates can help identify a legitimate app — Photo: Reproduction

4) Check app reviews

The reviews that users leave about apps can be useful to identify the legitimacy of these tools. In addition to the number of stars, it is important to read some reviews and assess whether it is worth downloading.

Remember that some malicious apps rely on fake reviews designed to build trust and make other people download the service. So, also try to identify if these comments were really written by humans.

How do you know what data your apps are collecting?

Understand the permissions that some apps ask for on Android

Understand the permissions that some apps ask for on Android

Understand the permissions that some apps ask for on Android

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