Most of the smartphone users, and especially the uninformed ones who are not proficient in technology, have the illusion that the Google Play Store completely protects us from fake apps.
However, that is true, there are already some programmers who have cunningly found clever ways to hide the software they want to include in the Play Store, even if the goals are in bad faith. Some applications will be identified and removed, although they may come back with a different application name.
Many fake apps invade the Play Store to mimic popular and legitimate apps. Developers often give “counterfeits” to these applications a similar name and code.
See an example of the Bitdefender application, which offers Free and paid . Some developers may publish a new application in the Play Store under the name Bitdefender Premium Plus. In this way, they try to attract users with common application names. Therefore, those who do not know can easily confront the victim and download these applications only to be bombarded with advertisements or worse, malware attacks.
Installing a rogue application for covert purposes may mean that the user is installing a rogue application that displays a lot of advertisements or attacks the device with malware. The installation of fake applications exposes the user to risks such as theft of their personal information or the monitoring of their virtual presence.
In this article you will find:
How fake apps steal data from us
Some counterfeit programmers are so good that it can take a long time to detect them. For example, some time ago, there was fake WhatsApp Information on the Play Store. Even the developer of the fake app copies the name of the original developer.
The only way to distinguish between a fake app and a legitimate app was to notice the distance at the end of the programmer’s name of the fake app. Other developers choose popular apps with similar icons and publish them on the Play Store to mislead users.
How does Google Play work? Protection defends users
The problem with fake apps on the Play Store is as old as the Play Store itself. However, Google recently created ways to help combat this problem. Google Play Protect was introduced as a security system to verify the legitimacy of all applications in the Play Store.
The Play Protect system works by scanning applications when they enter the Play Store. While some rogue apps managed to compromise security, Google was able to remove more than 700,000 rogue apps in the last year.
How to detect fake apps on the Play Store
Google always devises ways to protect its users from harmful apps, but ultimately it is the user’s responsibility to keep the devices and data safe.
When searching for a specific application in the Play Store, you will have many options, some even with the same code. Try to identify discrepancies or something that doesn’t seem to be working. If your apps have a similar icon, focus on the name. Fake apps are often out of sight.
Look at the app and the developer’s name
Even with these details guaranteed, the user can take some additional steps to identify inconsistencies. Fake app developers sometimes mimic the app name and developer name, however there are some details they don’t report. Legitimate app developers want their users to find them easily and create consistency that makes the process easier.
For example, they will never find “real” WhatsApp using the word “Update” in their search with the name “WhatsApp Update”. Other examples include the fake version of “SwiftKey”, called “Swift Keyboard”, but with the same code and name of the programmer “Designer Superman”, instead of Microsoft. In short, if we are attentive to the details, it is not difficult to understand whether the application is legitimate or not.
Pay attention to the number of downloads.
This step will work most accurately for popular apps like Instagram, LinkedIn, and similar popular apps. Common app like Instagram probably has more than 10 million downloads on Play Store. So if the number of downloads refers to only one hundred thousand downloads, then this is definitely a bogus app.
Read user reviews
Perhaps this is the classic way to verify the legitimacy of a product. Like many fake apps artificially put positive reviews, you will always find that some real users will leave their testimonials. In the comments you can understand if the applications are illegal.
What to do when a fake app is discovered
The first thing to do when selecting a fake app is to avoid installing it. But they can also take the initiative to make sure Google does something about it. Whenever you find fake apps on the Play Store, you should report it to Google.
Just go to the bottom of the page and click on “Report Inappropriate Content.” Describe the problem in detail as “Copy or Error”. If they are on a web page, they will be directed to the help page to fill in the detailed information.