The increasing speed, storage, and performance of Android devices have led to several users using their devices for financial transactions. The rising popularity of Android platform is also attracting cyber criminals and we can see the mobile threat landscape continue to grow as technology evolves. As per McAfee Lab report 2016, the security company has found an alarming increase in malware (100-1000 per hour)across the world. Recently a “Hooligan” named malware affected around 1.3 million devices stealing user data to boost ad revenue. If you look back, there have been several attacks of malware on Android platform. It is very easy to target a device through an app which is downloaded from sources other than Google Play store.
Risks of downloading apps from third-party app stores
The open source nature of Android makes it easy for cyber criminals to create apps that look novel and benign. But inside, the app carries a malicious code that is programmed to steal user data from the Android device and send it to its creator who intends to use it for selfish purposes. The malicious apps are distributed through third-party app stores as these apps cannot pass through security tests conducted at Google Play store. It is easier for cyber criminals to lure Android users to download apps from links placed outside the Google Play Store
Google Play Store- Safest source to download Android Apps
Google Play store carefully scans the apps before including them in Play Store. Even if some malicious apps might escape the security detection and gain an entry in Play Store, Google is quick enough to remove any app that is problematic. Google has strict policies that define functionality and use of app. if any app developer is found offending policies;Google takes strict action against the developer and removes the app from Play store. There is no such security mechanism to catch malicious apps at third party app stores as they are not considered threat at places where they are published.
Google also checks the app’s connection to the secondary app market. It is quite common practice followed by cyber criminals to publish an app with clean code in Google Play Store and app with malicious code in the secondary market. Hence, you should never download any version of the well-known app from third-party sources as well.
Related Article: http://www.imt.in/blog/15-ways-to-secure-your-android-phone
How to protect your android phone from malicious apps?
The best way to protect your Android phone is downloading the app from Google play store only. While we say this, it is important that you follow the right way to download the app from Google Play store. Never click on follow links to get the app. Instead, you should open the Google Play store on your device and type the name of the app in the search box and then download it. This is the safest way to follow and you need to follow the same way to update the app.
Following these security practices ensure, you do not let malicious app enter your phone and you can safely enjoy the features of your devices without worrying about security risks brought by malware.