Making Sure an Android App is Safe
We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to the selection of Android apps in the Play Store. At the beginning of each year, there are hundreds of new apps released – all with the intention of making our lives easier and more enjoyable. However, there has been a lot of controversy in recent years surrounding the safety and security of the Google Play store.
In fact, the Android Developers Blog stated earlier this year that they found over 700,000 bad apps in 2017 in the Google Play Store. This mostly comes down to the fact that the iOS App Store has a stricter app policy than the Google Play Store. Android doesn’t have a strict vetting policy but does take care of regular scans. Android prides itself on its openness and accessibility, but this does, in turn, result in the occasional malicious app. The fact it’s relatively simple to create your own app and upload it on Google Play is also an added factor. However, because we all know and love Android, we have provided a number of ways for you to ensure that the apps you are downloading are safe and secure. Here’s how.
The first thing we usually do when we get ourselves a new laptop is downloading an antivirus software. This should also be the case when you get yourself a new Android. There is no shortage of options, each offering a range of features and varying in price from free to expensive. Do your research and get an antivirus ASAP.
Check the Developer
Instead of just blindly downloading an app, make sure to pay some attention to the developer of the app. Generally speaking, you can trust major developers who have put out a number of apps in the past – in these cases it is not in their interest to release malicious apps. Take some time to read the reviews and have a look at the other apps they have developed.
Stick to Google Play
When it comes to downloading apps, Google Play or perhaps Amazon should be your only options. In a time where malicious apps are taking off and becoming more and more harmful, it’s important to avoid other app stores at all costs. Although all apps on Google Play alternatives are not necessarily malicious, there is a very big likelihood of finding ones that are.
Examine the Permissions
A lot of us tend to ignore the list of permissions that we are faced with when downloading an app. What many people don’t realize is that these permissions do in fact contain some important information and are where a lot of the malicious apps can be identified. By blindly clicking “I agree”, you may be giving away access to your contacts, messages and most importantly, your location. With apps used for maps, weather, travel or even dating, this is understandable, but there are other apps that should have nothing to do with your location. Take, for example, a calculator app which should never require access to your photos, or a printing app should not require access to your contacts. If apps need access to obscure areas of your personal information, there is a reason to be sceptical and therefore proceed with caution.