Thursday, February 8, 2024

How To Check If An App Is Trustworthy

 

Most mobile apps are created with good intentions. However, not all apps can be trusted. In fact, there is a growing number of malicious apps being created with the sole purpose of exploiting users. These apps are sometimes loaded with viruses or other nasty features.

Fortunately, the likes of Android and iOS are pretty much immune to viruses - it’s only if you’ve got a phone that uses another type of software that you may have to worry. There is however still a danger of apps that may try to steal sensitive data to sell on or apps that try to extort money through misleading terms and conditions. 

Just how can you avoid downloading these dodgy apps? By looking out for a few tell-tale warning signs. This post lists 5 of the most effective ways to check whether an app is trustworthy.

Download from an official store

The safest way to download an app is to download it from an official app store like Apple app store, Samsung Galaxy store or Google Play store. All apps are carefully vetted before they end up on one of these stores. Updates for these apps are also reviewed. You can therefore be sure that any app downloaded through one of these stores is mostly safe.

Avoid downloading apps from third-party websites. This is where the malicious apps tend to come from - in some cases, designed to mimic safe popular apps.

Read reviews beforehand

Another way to tell an app is trustworthy is to look at reviews. If an app has lots of positive user reviews, it is likely quite safe. Check star ratings through app stores themselves and take a look at app review and news.

If there are no reviews or reviews are largely negative, you may want to avoid such apps. You should particularly be wary of reviews that contain words like ‘scam’ and ‘malicious’. 

Check the number of downloads  

You can check how many times an app has been downloaded on most major app stores. Lots of downloads combined with positive reviews is a good sign that an app can be trusted.

If there aren’t many downloads, be careful of downloading. An app may not have been tested enough by other users to determine whether it is safe or not. A low download amount is also a good way to catch out small apps imitating as larger established apps. 

Check the upload date

You can also determine whether an app is legitimate by looking at the upload date. If an app has only been uploaded recently, it may be harder to determine just how trustworthy it is.

Try to download apps that have been available for several months. Be wary of apps recently uploaded that are disguising as long established apps.

Be wary of big discounts

Many apps are free, but some apps charge fees due to providing more specialist features. In these cases, you need to be careful of apps that offer huge discounts.

For example, if you need a specialist vehicle diagnostics app and every other app is charging $50, be wary of the app that has been discounted to $2. It’s probably not a genuine diagnostic app and is designed to exploit you in some way. 

23 comments:

  1. Thank you for these great tips. I always check the number of reviews and read the reviews before downloading an app. There have been a few apps that I deleted because I felt they were tracking my information.

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  2. There are so many scams these days! You have to research EVERYTHING.

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  3. This post is so good and really has some great tips and some I had not thought of before. I am so saving this one.
    heather hgtempaddy

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  4. This is such fantastic information

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  5. I hate all the permissions apps default to - like location, background data, etc.

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  6. These are some great tips! I try to read reviews etc... before I download any new apps.

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  7. Fantastic info! With all of the scams out there, you can never be too careful!

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  8. Such important information to read and learn about. I am always worried about Apps and almost anything lately due to scams.

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  9. Thank you for these great tips! I always worry about getting scammed

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  10. Thank for the information! It’s so important to be safe online!

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  11. Thankyou so much for this information

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  12. I focus on the last tip.

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  13. There are SO Many scams out there these days! Thank you for the information!

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  14. I always download apps from the apple app store just to be safe.

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  15. Thanks for such an insightful and informative post!

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  16. These are truly really great and helpful tips for everyone. I think especially in today's society, it is so very important to stay vigilant and very aware! starlaDOTbates AT y ahooDOTcom

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  17. What wonderful helpful tips. Thanks for the info. I shared it so that more people get a chance to review it and hopefully download things safer.

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  18. Maria Fernanda Dória RibeiroFebruary 27, 2024 at 6:37 AM

    Nice tips! Will definitely use them

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