How Students Can Check if an App is Legit!

App is Legit

There is no secret that these days there is an app for literally anything. In a student’s case, there are applications for managing time and stress, handling homework with ease, communicating with friends and loved ones, taking notes, and doing much more. Needless to say, leveraging the right apps can really make your life simpler, only if an app is legit.

But what happens if you pick the wrong apps?

Why Do You Have to Choose Apps Wisely?

There is a common belief that downloading a poor-quality app will only bring you a negative user experience and make you waste some of your time. In many cases, this is true. But not for students.

Of course, if you download a new game app and it turns out to be bad, there is not much you’ve lost. However, what if you fail to find a reliable tool to buy essay or any other piece of homework? In the best-case scenario, you will get a low grade for a poor-quality paper or just lose your money to a scam in the worst case.

On top of that, don’t forget that there are fake apps. Such apps can look normal and fully mimic original and trusted apps. Yet, hackers use them to steal your data or damage your devices. According to McAfee’s Mobile Threat Reports, there were as many as 65,000 fake apps in 2019. Their number is growing.

And the worst part is that such apps even manage to sneak into trusted app marketplaces like Apple’s app store. So no one is fully protected from getting them.

Due to all these reasons, it’s crucial to ensure that every app you download and use on your devices is legit and trustworthy. Read on, and we will tell you how to do ensure an app is legit!

6 Red Flags to Distinguish a Fraudulent App

While there are many tactics to protect yourself from using non-legit apps, the easiest way to stay on the safe side is to watch the warning signs.

Here is a quick list of the most obvious red flags that indicate that you shouldn’t trust a particular application:

  1. There are no (or very few) user reviews, and/or the displayed reviews look fake;
  2. The app’s screenshots look fake;
  3. The app isn’t available on popular and reliable app stores;
  4. There is not much information about the developer;
  5. It asks to provide personal details;
  6. The subscription is hard to cancel.

These signs can help you identify a fraudulent app by simply looking at it. However, of course, knowing the signs alone and not doing any additional research will still put you under threat.

Simple Tactics to Check the Legitimacy of Any App

Now that you know the main warning signs to watch out for, let’s discuss a few simple techniques to help you distinguish a bad app from a legit one.

Check Its Name and Logo

Before you hit the download button, always double-check the name of the app you are looking at. If it’s a fake app that only mimics a real one, there might be spelling mistakes or typos in the name. And there also might be a different logo.

If it’s just a different app that doesn’t mimic any other, you can type its name in Google to see what search results you will get. Often, there will be many complaints if the app isn’t legit.

Check the Developer

Next, you should check who is the developer of a particular app. Look up the name on search engines to find out more about a particular developer, their reliability, and other apps they’ve built.

Study the Description and Screenshots

Trusted developers always pay a lot of attention to the description and screenshots of their apps shown in stores. They want to attract users’ attention and show them how helpful their products are. However, scams don’t bother much about this. So, if the description looks rookie or bot-generated or the screenshots look fake, you can tell for sure that you are looking at a non-legit application.

Look at the Date

If you are on a trusted app store, it should provide general info about every application, including the date when it was published. We strongly recommend you study this section and pay special attention to the date. If the app of your interest was published just recently, it might be a huge red flag indicating that you must stay away from it.

Look at the Number of Downloads

Another good indicator of trustworthiness is the number of users who have downloaded an app. Some of the most popular and trusted applications have millions and even billions of downloads. Such a large number of users is a good sign that indicates that you can trust this app.

Study User Reviews

Lastly, there is one more simple way to check the reliability of a specific app. All trusted app stores feature a section with reviews under every product they offer in their store. In this section, you should be able to find user reviews and ratings for a specific app. Don’t miss an opportunity to study them and learn what others say about a particular tool. In many cases, if the app is bad, fake, or fraudulent, there will be many reviews that state this.

Bonus tip: In case you don’t find many reviews on the app store (or they sound fake to you), feel free to take your search further and look up more reviews on the web. This will help you ensure that you won’t get a fraudulent application even more.

The Bottom Line

Due to the huge number of applications available to us these days, there is no surprise that frauds will try to use them for their purposes. According to experts, fake apps will soon become the new primary way for cybercriminals to perform phishing attacks and steal your data.

Luckily, now you know how to protect yourself and ensure an app is legit. With the help of this guide, you should be able to identify a fake app with ease and make your user experience seamless and safe!

App is Legit article and permission to publish here provided by Robert Chapman. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on December 28, 2022.