For years now, Google has been fighting open warfare against bad-quality applications that reproduce like fungi in Play Store, we have already seen for example as the giant Californian penalized this type of apps in searches , although it is really true that Google still has a lot to do with the ‘Fake apps’ that they roam at ease through their app store.
It does nothing more than a million users I installed a fake version of WhatsApp and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of an evil that has plagued the Android platform almost since its inception , a major problem that has tried to be stopped by all means, but that continues to worsen with the passage of time.
Fake apps have not left Google Play Store and still pose a danger constant for users who dive in the search for new apps, although yes, we must recognize that effectively not all of these false applications can be considered malware nor are they harmful , because a good part of them are totally harmless for the user and they only generate income through advertising taking advantage of the name of another app or viral searches.
How can a mobile app hurt you? Well in many ways, really and is that installing a malicious application can cause you to steal your data, photos or passwords, can also make you lose money by sending this SMS app to services premium , or you may even lose data or access to your device because it blocks or damages your memory.
Anyway do not be alarmed yet, and that is how he tells us AddictiveTips The first thing you should know to avoid risks is which are the three main types of false applications that you can find, what each of them does and what you expose yourself to if you install it. Let’s review …
We mentioned WhatsApp at the beginning of the article, and that is the most popular applications and services are also the most likely to suffer brazen copies that are published as real in the Google Play Store.
The copies They seek to be as faithful as possible, and they are often very difficult to identify if we are guided only by the number of downloads and do not look at the details, then to show the button of the aforementioned WhatsApp fake application, which had been installed by more than one million users. Do not trust too much of that number of downloads , or at least not just him …
In this type of applications generally there is no greater malice than generating revenue with advertising deceiving the user , who will believe he is using the original service when he is really using a crude imitation. The operation can be similar or not, even sometimes it will not even work, but the name of the developer, the UI and the appearance, as well as the icons and the information of the app will surely be a copy of the original.
All kinds of popular apps can receive copies at any given time, so be careful, because you have seen fake apps of this type supplanting VLC, WhatsApp, Telegram, Office apps, etc.
Surely the biggest example of counterfeits of this kind, sometimes also understood as “clones” of an app , has been Flappy Bird, and is that the phenomenon of downloads lived in 2014 and the subsequent disappearance of the game motivated developers to launch many versions and reinterpretaciones different from this video game, most of dubious quality.
Any popular application will be in the eye of counterfeiters, either to imitate an app as much as possible or to directly clone it in a flagrant falsification that does not need nor hide , that does not want to deceive but to position itself taking advantage of the name of others, and what it ends up doing is confusing many users who end up installing it believing that it is also an original app.
A clear example you will find it When searching for “Angry Birds” in the Google Play Store, count how many Rovio apps appear and how many copies of other developers follow them. Sometimes you will even find applications that look like the name but are just a collection of wallpapers, and other times it will be a similar game but in which all resemblance to the original is purely coincidental.
At least in this case nobody wants to deceive us imitating the millimeter and the truth is that they are easily identifiable : the name of the developer does not correspond, neither the images of the app and the rest of the information. Further, most are also usually harmless and they look for benefits with publicity, although some will have to include malicious code through the medium.
The Open Source apps are not saved either, and that’s Many people take advantage of open source developments published by many programmers on the Internet, offering the code to anyone who wants to modify the application to their liking and compile it again to use it customized.
It is not difficult to take the code of an app, modify it to add advertising and package it again to publish later in Google Play Store, modifying just the right thing in descriptions and graphic material so that it looks like a new app that competes with the original one. An application that did not have ads suddenly has them, and the profits are taken by the smartass who has re-compiled it.
It may seem, but do not think that it is an illegal practice Well, it is not really. If someone has created an open source application and hands over the code without constraints, anyone can use it in the way they prefer.
In my opinion, this is the most dangerous case and the most complicated to detect , and is that access to the code will allow to add any malicious statement practically undetectable maintaining interface and the rest of the application intact, something that could mislead a brutal amount of users that they would find their security compromised.
As well, The main advice is always the same: use logic . You should never forget that the biggest antivirus is yourself and not an application, so look closely at what you install from any app store or outside of it.
Usually Searching for apps with Google engines better filters results eliminating false applications or with bad valuations, so the ideal is that you always try to search for applications from the official Google Play Store channels, either on the web or from the smartphone application.
If you doubt, the ideal is to look for the official website of the company that has developed the application in question, be it a company or an independent developer. Normally this website is linked in Google Play Store in the data section of the app, and there you can also check icons, artwork, descriptions, version or weight in megabytes of any application.
A good stone of fire are also the opinions of people, and that is sure someone has stung before you when installing a ‘Fake app’ . Read some descriptions, if the application is false the logical thing is that among the most important valuations you find what you are looking for in the form of bad reviews and low scores.
The mentioned ones application data they should be reviewed with a magnifying glass, because the imitations will try to look like the meter, for example the name of the developer, but they will need to introduce a space, a hyphen, a point or something similar. Look closely at the details to avoid making mistakes.
Now that you are ready, it is your turn to go to the ring to look for applications, but remember that if you find a fake app you can report it to Google for its elimination , in fact you should never hesitate to do so, as well as leave a comment to notify the rest of users until Google eliminates it. Have you ever installed any counterfeit applications? Did he have malware? Tell us your experiences that will enrich us all …
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