Many a times we download or share the apps from non-reliable sources in a quest of getting a paid version of the app for free or to get a particular app which is not available on Play Store. The apps which are not downloaded from reliable sources like Google Play Store or Amazon Store could be potentially harmful and malicious for your phone and also to you as a user by harassing the privacy.
Why a App is not available on Google Play Store?
Reasons could be many, let us look at some of them based on over context.
1. The app breaks the Google’s policy, Terms & Conditions.
It is the main reason for App to be not accepted by Play Store. Google is very hot on its policies and it doesn’t allow any app which breaks the policy. For example Tubemate, a popular YouTube video downloader app is not available on play store because it breaks Google’s policy on content privacy of YouTube. Same is case with Aptoide an app store which offers all paid apps for free and it breaks Google’s policy of No competition clause.
2. The app contains virus.
If the app is not safe then before coming live on web it will be withheld due to security issues. There are many apps which come with malware and Spyware to crack down your smartphone and get user and device information.
3. Unnecessary permissions.
If app asks for unnecessary permissions then the app may not be allowed to come up live. Such apps are of high risk factor as they tend to take sensitive information from user.
Risks involved in downloading unknown app
- Downloading apps from unknown sources is always not safe, I myself have seen many cases where my friends have lost some or many of functions of their smartphone after downloading some app.
- Apps may send anonymous information to the developer without users consent.
- Many apps ask for location access in app permission and such apps tend to gather information. Unnecessary location access is always a red signal.
- Apps may contain malware, adware or spyware which take up particular section of the phone to serve hackers. Even though you are downloading an apk of the app which is available on play store, but outside the store it may be infected.
How to protect your smartphone ?
Very first and best method is to download an Antivirus app. Almost all antivirus apps available on play store perform same function of removing virus, spyware and malware. But their are some limitations to this apps as these Antivirus apps cannot provide protection against apps which contains exploit code bypassing device security.
Add an extra layer of security protection provided by Google.
To get protection from exploit malware you need to scan the app before installing and to avail these security feature you must have Google Play Services installed on your phone.
As you have enabled the permission to install apps from unknown sources, make your you right check on scan and verify apps (pop-up message) if asked.
- Now in app drawer look for app called Google settings.
- Open the app and tap on security option under services.
- You will find an options of “scan apps for security threats” and “improve harmful app detection”. Right check these two options. You are done.
- Make sure you have data on over cellular or wifi every time while installing apps from unknown sources for Google to verify it for installation.
- Done your device is protected from harmful and dangerous apps.
Note & Conclusion: Download apps only from reliable source and if you wish to download it from any other source, make sure you turn your data on and let the Google scan the app for safety.