Nowadays, the market of apps is so big, that it’s almost impossible to avoid fakes. Needless to say, downloading a fake app is quite upsetting, and it may even be dangerous.
Fake apps are often created with bad intentions of causing harm to users who have downloaded them. You may get malware installed, your activity can be tracked, and so on. In the worst key scenario, your personal data may get leaked, so it’s better to stay away from these apps.
That’s why we’ve created a tutorial on how to identify fake app in 2024 that will help you to avoid fakes without any effort. Let’s dive in!
Types Of Fake Apps
Although there are plenty of fake apps out there, all of them can be split into 3 types.
- Clones. As you may guess by the name, these apps usually imitate other popular apps and try to be as close to the original as possible. The goal here is t confuse users looking for the original app and make them install the fake instead.
- Counterfeits. These apps are also rip-offs. They imitate the logo, the name, and even screenshots, but they may not copy the original fully. The description of such apps is typically filled with keywords that may look odd if you’ll try to read them. Plus, the names of these apps casually have 1 or 2 different letters with the original
- Repackages. Oh, these are interesting. The developers of these apps take some open-source apps and repackage them with more ads, and other stuff. Sounds illegal, but it actually isn’t, so all you can do is avoid these apps.
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As it was already mentioned, fake apps come with lots of unpleasant stuff. Let’s figure out why exactly these apps are dangerous, and you don’t need them on your phone.
- Ad bots. Well, that’s the less threatening thing you may get – an app bundled with as. Pretty annoying, the ads may be very unexpected, but it’s not that bad.
- Inappropriate content. Fake apps often contain aggressive and violent content, which is bad for kids for sensitive people.
- Unwanted downloads. The apps may not contain any spyware codes, but they can initiate the download of the unpleasant apps without your permission.
- Spam. These apps may get access to your accs and start sending unsolicited messages to your mates.
- Billing fraud. That’s right, fake apps may charge on your phone bill without your contest.
- Ransomware. These apps may encrypt the info on your device, so it becomes unreadable. Then you’ll be asked to pay to get your data back.
- Information leaks. Your personal info, passwords, and logins may get stolen by criminals.
- Trojan. Fake apps typically perform malicious actions in the background of your device.
Now as you understand you don’t need to go near fake apps, let’s find out how to spot them, shall we?
Look At The Name
Well, the first one is kinda obvious. Just looking at the name of a fake app may actually tell you smth is wrong with it. As was mentioned, some letters typically get changed, and you can notice it if you’ll take it closely. There may also be grammar mistakes or weird formatting.
Check The Developers Name
If the apps that should be famous come from some odd unknown developers, it should make you suspicious. Once again, some letters in the name of the original developer may get changed, so look for mistakes as well. In case you’re not sure about the developer, just google the name to find some basic info about them. Just to make sure the reputation is great and all that.
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Check The Icon
The icons also play a big role and can warn you the app is fake. Along with the name, the icon will be similar to the original, but you’ll still get to notice some differences. The fake apps like to rip off the icons of games, but the image may be distorted or have low quality.
Inspect The Number Of Downloads
The amount of downloads always matters. If you’re trying to find a well-known app, you kinda expect it to have lots of downloads. More to that, the app can steal the name and the icon, but it’s impossible to imitate the number of installs, so it’s one of the easiest ways to spot a fake.
View The Rating And Check Reviews
Another thing that is not easy to fake is the rating and reviews. Plus, if the app doesn’t do what it is supposed to, people in the comments will most likely tell about that. Let’s be real, most of us will only write a comment about the app being absolute garbage. The developers may generate fake reviews a sell, so if all the comments are positive, the app may also be fake. Sounds odd, but you’ll typically get a feeling the reviews look too good to be real.
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Look At The Permissions
And lastly, reading a permission agreement is a simple step most users skip, but it can actually help you to spot a fake app. In most cases, if the app is a rip-off, it will contain too many permissions that seem to be unnecessary for the category. For instance, if the book reader asks for your location and mic permission, maybe there’s smth wrong going on here.
That’s basically it. Keep an eye on what you’re downloading and stay safe!