Scammers are always finding new ways to infect our gadgets with malware. There are no limits to the lengths they will go to deliver malicious software.
Cybercriminals have even been developing fake apps to trick you into giving them personal information or credit card numbers. One recent example was during the Pokémon Go craze.
These malicious apps are scary. They can cause your gadget to perform erratically or even lock them up altogether with ransomware. Forcing you to pay a ransom to regain control of your important files.
Criminals are likely to create counterfeit apps based on the most popular ones out there. They also try and trick you by making fake apps with titles similar to a store or company, with just a little difference to the fake one. For example, a counterfeit app named Footlocke Sports Co. Ltd., trying to emulate Foot Locker Inc., was recently discovered.
There are some things you can do to avoid these counterfeit or malicious apps. Here are some suggestions that will help.
How to avoid infected apps
One of the best ways to avoid malicious apps is to stay away from third-party app stores. There have been malicious apps discovered in the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store; however, it's more likely to find them in third-party app stores. That's because third-party stores do little to no vetting of the apps.
Most of the popular apps will have reviews by other users in the app store. You can sometimes find reviews by experts online. Reviews are very helpful at pointing out malicious or faulty apps. Obviously, if you find a review warning you that the app contains malware, do not download it.