A fake Android app can be destructive. Yes! You heard us right. It won’t just sit on your Android device and eat away the precious storage, but it is capable of causing more destruction. We’ll talk of how destructive it is; if you are wondering how to spot fake Play Store apps, we have some handy tricks up our sleeves.
What Are Fake Android Apps?
Fake Android apps are everywhere; even some Google Play Store apps can also be fake. First, let’s understand what a fake app is. These are apps which imitate the features and functionality of popular legit apps and trick users into installing them. Their motive? They have all the intent in the world to harm your device either by taking away data from your device or injecting malware.
|Quite recently, it was also found that some Google Play Store apps were even infected by PhantomLance Backdoor, a malware whose motive is to steal private data. And, it has been active since 2016.
So, How To Spot Fake Google Play Store Apps
1. Guard Your Device With An App That Stops The Entry Of Such Apps
Wondering how to differentiate between fake and genuine apps? How about an app which warns you about a dangerous and fake Android app, right at the very outset?
Smart Phone Cleaner is one such app which removes unwanted apps and files from your device. It has a dedicated “App Manager” and “Hibernate apps” module which does this task. Additionally, it even has an “Anti-Malware” that protects your device against various kinds of malware attacks.
- App Manager: helps disable and uninstall space hogging apps that are no more required
- Hibernate Apps:
The feature hibernates those apps which have been inactive or unused for a long time and that eat away the power of your device
With the help of this module you can scan and protect your device against infections and malware attacks
Additionally, it even helps boost your RAM and saves your battery by shutting off apps unnecessarily running in the background.
2. Look For The App Icon If You Have Not Already Started To
We see an app, we like it, and we then tap on the install button without even giving a second thought. Isn’t this quite a common scenario with most of us?
As a prudent Android user and someone who is wondering how to spot fake Play Store app, look closely at the icon of the app, especially when there are multiple apps with the same icon. For instance, in the screenshot above, we can see that all apps are genuine and come from Instagram itself and one app even has an editor’s choice tag as well.
3. Name Of The Game – Check The Spelling Of The Name
Many Google Play Store apps may have similar icons, but the moment you look at their names, you will probably be able to differentiate a fake Android app from the genuine one. Take a step further and if you find that the spelling is correct, look at the case. For instance, “WhatsApp” is real and “Whatsapp” or “Watsapp” would be fake.
Now, you’ll probably not say “What’s in the name?” at least not when you are installing Android apps.
4. Numbers Speak For Themselves
Still, wondering how to spot fake Play Store apps?
Look at the download numbers apart from just looking at the 4 point something star rating. There are a bazillion ways a developer can buy ratings. The number of downloads can neither be bought nor do they lie. If you see a popular app which has millions of views, it means it’s genuine, but on the other hand, if it has less than 5 thousand views, the chances are it is an absolute ripoff. Beware! If you hit the install button on this app, you are trading your device for many things, your privacy being one of them!
5. If An App Does What It’s Not Allowed To, You Know What To Do
You uninstall! Yes! You heard us right.
Hackers and miscreant developers have become so smart that they’ll develop an app and make it look as if there’s no problem. You’ll be made to believe that you are installing a regular app. But, delve into the permissions, and you’ll know what the app is upto.
If an app is using your GPS when there’s no need for it to do that, ask why? If an offline app is using your background data, question its credibility.
How Do You Know If The App Is Genuine?
You now probably have a fair idea of how you can spot fake Play Store apps. Even still, here’s what you can do to check if the apps on your device are legit. The steps shown below might slightly differ based on the Android device model you have.
- Tap on Settings
- Go to Security
- Look for Google Play Protect under Security and run a Play Protect
Play Safe, Stay Secure
The intent of this blog is certainly not to scare you but to keep you away from impending dangers that fake Android apps bring along. Hope we have been of help and you now have deciphered how to spot fake Play Store apps, do share it with your friends, family and everyone you care for. For more such interesting and useful information, keep reading Systweak Blogs. You can even watch interesting tech videos on our YouTube channel and follow us on all social media platforms.