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Google Play Store is the official marketplace for Android — but does this mean that the apps available on the Play Store are safe to install?

Yes and no 😱

I’m quite sure that you were confident that Google Play Store is 100% safe — at least that’s what most of the Android users feel like, even I thought so. But, that isn’t the case 😰

Even though Google introduced Google Play Protect service to keep you safe from dangerous apps, it isn’t enough.

In this article, I’ll highlight some events that will help you know why Google Play Store isn’t perfectly safe. In addition to that, I’ll mention some tips to help you install safe apps on your Android device.

Google Play Store Isn’t Perfectly Safe

⚠️ Don’t get me wrong, Google Play Store should be your preferred choice of installing an app.

However, not every app listed on the Play Store is safe to use.

Unlike Apple’s App Store, Google does not have a strict guideline or a review process to closely take a look at the app from every aspect to make sure it’s safe.

And, that is the reason Google removed almost 85 dangerous apps from the Play Store last year.

Not just limited to that, but recently MalwareHunterTeam (popularly known for detecting malicious apps) also found a bunch of dangerous apps existing on the Google Play Store:

But, now that I’m saying Play Store isn’t entirely safe. What can you do about it? 🧐

Here’s what you can do:

1. Install Apps That Belong To Reputable Companies

Google Chrome Illustration
Photo by Deepanker Verma from Pexels

No matter what you do — you should not install random apps.

Yes, sometimes you may find a genuinely good app that’s not from a reputable source or company. It’s a very important thing to keep in mind because the number of malicious apps are constantly increasing to steal your data or hack your device.

You’ll be shocked to know that last year mobile malware increased by 54%!

smartphone security guide

So, before you install any app — do some research on the Internet about the developer, about the company, and so on.

2. Get In Touch With Me If You Want Help

What if you don’t have the time to research or the expertise?

Don’t worry, I’ve created an email just for you so that you can reach out to me at [email protected] and I will try my best to help you out with your questions on anything related to your Android device.

I want you to save the email address for future reference. I will try to reply each one of you to help you with the problems you’re facing 😀

You May Also Like – The Ultimate Smartphone Security Guide

3. Use F-Droid As Much As Possible

F-Droid is a popular Android app store just like the Google Play Store.

However, the only difference is — you will only find open-source applications and very limited apps.

Unfortunately, F-Droid isn’t available at the Google Play Store because it competes with the Play Store — which is against their terms of service.

Fret not, you can just head on to F-Droid’s official website and download the APK file to get it installed.

Now, if you’re thinking — “Why should I install something that’s not on the Play Store?

Yes, you’re absolutely right, you should not install any unverified APK files from outside the Google Play Store.

But, F-Droid is something that you can trust. ✅

The F-Droid team inspects the source code of every app they approve and that is reason you will find a very few number of applications in that.

Also, it is worth noting that the apps you install from F-Droid do not depend on any Google Services to function properly. So, if you want to avoid using Google services, it’s also the best place for you.

If you don’t believe me, you can watch this video (by a Cybersecurity Researcher) to get an idea about it:

4. Do Not Install APK Files Without Verifying It

Now, to verify the APK files, you need to verify the APK certificate fingerprints.

Woah, what’s that? If you want to explore more about it, there’s a fantastic forum thread to help you.

But, if you can’t do that — that’s alright. You can use APKMirror to get the latest APK files of the apps you want.

Fret not, APKMirror is a project by Android Police (which is a quite popular website). And, they verify the APK files to ensure that the files are safe to install.

Of course, you shouldn’t install every app you find there. Always be cautious about what you install!

Wrapping Up

So, these are the basic things that you need to know in order to install Android apps that are truly safe.

As I mentioned earlier, if you have any doubts to keep your device secure, feel free to email me on [email protected].

If you found this article useful, please share it across social media platforms to inform your friends and family about it! 😀

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