Google play store is the home of more than a million apps and games – both free and paid. No matter what phone you have, no matter what apps you use the most, no matter what types of games you enjoy the most; there is something for everyone.
In the past, we have shared lots of free and awesome stuff like apps, games, launchers, wallpapers, and some more. But in this article, I would like to discuss a huge problem that the Android ecosystem is facing for years and, oddly enough, most of the users are not even concerned about it. The problem that I am talking about is the availability of virus or malware on your Android device. And the biggest reason for it is the installation of cracked apps & games from unsafe sources.
You must know that Android is considered the most insecure mobile OS; mainly because of its open source nature. But do you know that you can reduce the chances of getting hit by a malware by almost 99% if you stick to the apps in the Google play store? Only install apps & games from trusted sources like Google play store or Amazon app store. Most of the cracked apps & games on the internet are probably tampered with or infected.
Let’s take Swiftkey for example. Back in the day, when SwiftKey was a paid app, a lot of users used to install a cracked version of it because they didn’t want to spend a few buck on the stuff they like; they wanted it for free. Just to show the security threats of using cracked apps, a developer cracked Swiftkey and turned it into a keylogger and was able to get personal information of a lot of people. The information received wasn’t put to bad use since he is the good guy, but everyone is not.
Most of the Android malware come from outside Google play store. Sideloading apps from untrustworthy sources leads to injection of malware in your device.
A study conducted few years ago found more than 28,000 samples of malware, but only 146 of them came from Google play store. That is HUGE.
How Does a Malware Work?
One popular technique used by malware developers is to wrap a malicious code around a cracked app. Since people are getting a paid app for free they won’t even care to check the sources. Now, the app will work normally and you’ll be able to use it, but the malicious code will also run in the background and collect as much data of yours as it can and send it to the creator. Even an antivirus isn’t strong enough to detect some malware.
What I’m trying to say is no matter what others say, as long as you stick to apps from the Google play store or any other trustworthy source like Amazon app store, you are not putting yourself at risk. Stop sideloading apps (be it cracked or simple). Pay for the app you want to use instead of using cracked version of it. This discourages the developer as well as opens you to various security threats.