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Unfortunately, malicious developers also realise the amount of trust users have in the Play Store. Their plan is to put a very close lookalike of official apps onto the Play Store, then sneak malicious code into it that can dodge the Play Store’s security checks. Innocent users think they’re downloading an official app end up getting something far worse!
But how do you identify an app that’s trying to impersonate a real one?1. Strange App Name
For one, make sure that the app shares the same name as the one you think you’re getting. One of the more successful fake app scams was over an app called “Update WhatsApp Messenger.” If you take some time to look at this app in a vacuum, you’ll see how suspicious it is. Why is an update being published on the app store this way rather than just updating the app? The idea is that people won’t pay much attention to the name; they’ll just see the word “WhatsApp” and the official logo and queue it up for download without checking the details. Always double-check to see if you’re getting the right app.2. Strange Developer Name
Likewise, the developer may be different from the one you’re expecting. If you can search online for the official developer’s name, this step becomes easier. If the developer name for the app doesn’t match what’s on the official site, you have a scam on your hands. This can get very tricky; as per the WhatsApp article above, the developer name will be identical to the official developer’s name, except an “invisible” whitespace character is added to the end to make it different. Still, exercise caution with the developer name and don’t download anything with a suspicious name.3. See What People Are Saying
Be sure to check the reviews of a potentially fake app. Don’t expect all-negative reviews, however; part of a fake app’s disguise is to get fake five-star reviews to boost its credentials. Instead, look for what the negative reviews are saying. If they’re saying the app is fake and doesn’t do as it says it does, beware!4. Check the Download Count How Are They Sneaking Through?
Now that you know what a fake app looks like, the question remains; how are these apps even making it onto the app store in the first place?
In terms of dodging Play Store’s malware detectors, developers have found ways to make their apps become malware after being uploaded to the Play Store. This is typically done by uploading a malware-free app with the capacity to talk to a third-party server. This in itself isn’t malware, which allows the app to skirt under security. Once it’s on people’s phones, the app talks to the third-party server to download the malware. This is how FalseGuide made the impact that it did.
As for an obviously-fake app getting onto the store in the first place, this may just mean that more needs to be done to control fake apps being uploaded.Finding the Fakes
With fake Android apps being an efficient way of spreading malware, it’s crucial to find the bad eggs before downloading anything. Now you know how to be more careful on the Play store and how to spot a fake app.
Have you, or someone you know, fallen victim to a fake app? Let us know below!
Simon Batt is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for cybersecurity.
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You're reading How To Identify Fake Android Apps On The Play Store
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
Spend enough time on the internet, and you’re bound to come across a horror story of some unfortunate soul duped into spending hundreds of dollars on a counterfeit or fake smartphone. It may look like a brand new Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra from the outside, but it’s not even close on the inside, with a cheap camera, outdated processor, and other cheaper components instead of the real thing.
Counterfeiting high-end smartphones is big business in China. According to AnTuTu’s latest knock-off smartphone report (source no longer available), 4.24% of the phones that ran the company’s benchmark were knock-offs. That equals 572,303 confirmed fakes out there just based on this single sample. More than a billion smartphones are on the market, which extrapolates to many millions of knock-offs.
If you want to avoid wasting your cash on a fake smartphone, here’s our easy guide to help check that your new phone is authentic.
If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Knock-off software is usually a dead giveaway, particularly if the UI or app icons don’t match the manufacturer’s official device theme like Samsung’s One UI or Google’s Pixel UI. You can get to know a new device by watching some YouTube videos or reviews. Watch for strange-looking home screens and icons, missing features or menus, or non-standard pre-installed apps.
As always, follow general buying rules for used products too. Don’t agree to pay outside official platforms like Venmo or Ebay where you won’t be protected. Furthermore, try to meet in mutually agreeable locations and avoid requests to bring cash. As always, pushy unofficial sellers who won’t answer detailed questions are a major warning sign too.
See also: How to contact Ebay supportCheck that the hardware matches up Run CPU-Z
As we’ve mentioned, a counterfeit processor is a major red flag and will ruin your experience with your new phone, so it’s worth comparing the chip in the phone against the official spec sheet.
You don’t need to take the phone apart to do this. You just need to quickly install CPU-Z from the Play Store. The app will give you a rundown of the key processing and low-level software components inside the phone. It’s also much harder to spoof.
Once installed, you can check out details about the CPU and GPU hardware on the opening page. If you’re not really into that technical stuff, the Device tab will give you the name of the processor chip under Hardware. Compare this value against the device’s official spec sheet. You’ll also find the amount of RAM and the phone’s display resolution listed on this page, which will instantly flag any knock-offs. You can also install AIDA64 to cross-reference some details.
Cross-check the IMEI number
All of the above will help you spot a cheap fake smartphone, but it won’t help against stolen or blacklisted products. To do this, you’ll want to check out the International Mobile Equipment Identification number (IMEI) against the claims made by your seller.
Each phone’s cellular modem has a unique 15-digit IMEI number. This gets registered against the phone’s make and model number. Carriers use this IMEI number to blacklist or block phones if stolen.
A phone’s IMEI can tell you the model associated with it, network compatibility, and if the handset was stolen.
You can find a phone’s IMEI number in the About Phone section of the Android Settings menu. Alternatively, you can type *#06# into the phone’s dialer, and a box will pop up with the number. You’ll also find the IMEI printed on the phone’s box, making it a cinch to double-check if your prospective purchase comes in its original packaging. Popping the number into the chúng tôi website will give you a breakdown of the handset’s status.
The IMEI number can also help ascertain if the phone is locked to a specific network. If you’re promised an unlocked phone, you won’t want to find out otherwise when you pop your SIM in. Sellers often don’t check this information, while others use the allure of an unlocked phone to bring in unsuspecting customers.Already scammed? What now?
Most digital means of payment offer some protection against fraudulent merchants.
Try to obtain proof of purchase and a detailed item description from the seller to act as evidence, just in case. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the seller’s reputation online via reviews and forum posts before committing to a purchase. A quick Google search ahead of time might save you lots of agony after the fact.
With all of the above in mind, you’re now well prepared and protected against ending up with a fake smartphone. The chances of encountering one are slim, but it’s always best to be prepared.
See also: Are fake security cameras worth buying?
Have you ever filled up the available space in your Android phone storage and couldn’t download an app you want to install? Of course you have. We all have. Going through and selecting the apps you want to delete to make more space for the new one can be tedious if you have to go through them one by one. It’s much faster to batch uninstall apps and remove all unwanted apps at once.Multi App Uninstaller
There are many different apps that will do this for you. The one I prefer is called Multi App Uninstaller. It’s fast, easy to use and ad-free, so pretty much a no-brainer to use.
This app gives the user some different options for deleting unwanted apps from your phone. Some are functional, and some are there to appeal to different users’ preferences. These options are at the top of the screen, and look like the following image.Sort
By pressing the sort icon at the bottom left of the screen, you can choose to display your apps in either descending or ascending order by name, size, or install date.Select All
At the bottom right corner of the screen, you’ll see a square icon that lets you select every single app on your phone. Obviously be careful when doing this, because you’re just another tap from batch-uninstalling all your apps (though Multi App Uninstaller does ask to confirm the uninstallation of each individual app, at least).View
Tapping the three-dot options icon at the top right lets you change the layout of the apps on your screen between a list view and a grid view.
From this menu you can also switch the app to Dark mode.How to Use Multi App Uninstaller
Locate and download the app to your device. When you open the app, Multi App Uninstaller will read your library of apps and display them for you. The icons are large and easily visible.
To delete multiple apps:
From the main Multi App Uninstaller screen, simply tap each app you want to uninstall one by one (or, if you want to uninstall most of your apps, tap the square icon at the bottom right corner to select all, then tap each app that you want to keep).
Tap the trash can icon at the bottom of the screen.
The app will ask you to verify that you want to uninstall these apps. The app checks each request to uninstall an app individually to eliminate errors that may cause unwanted uninstalls. Press OK each time.
As soon as you you confirm one uninstall, the next app in the queue will be shown for you to verify.
Once Multi App Uninstaller has completed all of your uninstalls, the app will return you to the main screen.
Multi App Uninstaller easily and efficiently batch uninstalls all your unwanted applications to make room for new, exciting replacements. For more Android tips see our guide on finding downloaded files on any Android device, and also our nifty guide to compressing and extracing (zipping and unzipping) files on Android.
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How To Lock Settings and Apps on Android Phone
Read Also: 8 Best Photos Cleaner Apps To Keep Your Storage Clear
Today, in this post, we are going to discuss how to lock settings and apps on Android phones.How To Lock Settings And Apps On Android
It is a simple and essential personal security tool that blocks unwanted access and stops criminals from spying on you. You can use fingerprint and passcode unlocking to lock settings and secure applications.
Read More: How Do You Know If Someone Blocked You On WhatsApp
Design & Developed By: Systweak SoftwareWhy Choose App Lock – With Fingerprint, Pattern & Password
Simple and straightforward User Interface.
Don’t leak user information to outside parties.
Lightweight and has no negative impact on battery life.
If you forget your previous passcode, there is a mail recovery option.
Capability to restrict access to any app or settings.
Supports locking with a password, fingerprint, and a four-digit code.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at how to lock settings and apps on Android:
Download and install App Lock – With Fingerprint, Pattern, and Password from the below button.
Once the application is installed, you may lock it using its primary method by setting a four-digit pin or a pattern when you activate it. You can also employ the Pattern lock.
A message will prompt you to establish a recovery email id if you lose your passcode lock or pattern.
The list of all the applications you have loaded on your smartphone will appear on the mobile screen. Tap the lock icon adjacent to the application you wish to lock.
You will now see a pop-up screen requesting you to grant the application Usage Access permission; tap on Allow. You may activate AppLock on the Usage access choices page.
You will see a new pop-up screen asking if you want to enable drawing over other programs; choose Allow. On the settings tab under Display over other Apps, flip the switch to the on position.
You may discover the locked app on your home screen in the area labeled “Locked Apps.” You must use your fingerprint or a passcode to access the protected applications.
Final Word On How To Lock Settings And Apps on Android Phone
App Lock – With Fingerprint, Pattern, and Password is the most frequently recommended way to lock apps and Android settings. You’ll be able to keep your applications closed and keep your passwords and other information safe. The list of available applications covers anything from social media to wallet apps to banking apps, and there are no constraints on which apps you may lock.Quick Reaction:
About the author
But what about other files on your computer? With Daisy Disk by Software Ambience, one of Apple’s Best of 2023 Mac apps, it’s easy to identify the biggest storage hogs on your Mac.
The app makes the mundane takes of cleaning up the Mac’s storage easy and fun by giving your a nice visual breakdown on your disk space in the form of an interactive heat map. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to reveal the biggest space wasters with DaisyDisk so you can remove them and free up some additional storage on your Mac.How to identify large files on your Mac with DaisyDisk
First of all, you will need to download DaisyDisk, which is available for $9.99 in the Mac App Store. Or, download a free trial directly from the official website.
Upon launching the app, just drag a disk icon from the desktop and drop it onto the DaisyDisk window. If you drop your boot volume, you may be prompted to type in your administrator password in order to give the app permission to use the disk.
You’ll get a great visual breakdown of the disk’s free and used space with all of your files and folders. The circular chart is interactive and updated in real time so it always reflects the true amount of free and used storage on the computer.
The app is incredibly fast: my mid-2013 MacBook Air’s 256GB SSD is half-full and it took DaisyDisk just a few seconds to fully scan its folder hierarchy and display the interactive file map. As you hover the mouse pointer over different sections of the chart, the appropriate folder is highlighted in the righthand column.
The app’s interface couldn’t be simpler and it lets you identify and then dive into the largest folders and visually peruse the contents of your Mac. When you identify a folder that’s taking up a significant amount of storage, you can drag it in the lower left corner of the app’s window to collect it.
DaisyDisk has helped me realize that I have more than 60 gigabytes of usable storage locked in the Mac’s Trashcan, which I haven’t emptied in a while. I also learned that various application caches inside the system’s Library folder are taking up more than three gigabytes of storage.
After collecting files that you’d like to delete, you can then empty the app’s built-in collection bin to permanently delete those items and free up storage space that was lost to these items. Don’t worry, DaisyDisk has built-in safeguards preventing your from deleting system files by accident.Final thoughts
Last but not least, this app integrates OS X’s QuickLook feature—just select a file and press Space on the keyboard to preview it quickly, and can scan multiple disks in parallel at maximum speed.
I think it’s an easy-to-use utility with its unique circular overview of the storage hogs that does a terrific job of identifying unneeded and useless file you may have forgotten about, helping you free up your Mac’s storage in no time.
Highly recommended.Like DaisyDisk? Check out CleanMyMac
A number of other space-cleaning Mac apps are available and my absolute favorite is MacPaw’s CleanMyMac (get a free trial at the official website) and its less-capable counterpart called CleanMyDrive (read my review), which is available at no charge in the Mac App Store.Availability
DaisyDisk is English-only and requires a Mac with a 64-bit Intel processor and OS X 10.10 Yosemite or later. The app is fully optimized for El Capitan and Macs with high-resolution Retina screens. DaisyDisk is available in the Mac App Store for $9.99. A free trial can be downloaded directly from the official website. Upgrades are available to display storage charts for any connected disks, be it your Mac’s boot volume, Thunderbolt disks, USB thumb drives, network-attached storage and so forth.Related tutorials
To learn about other useful techniques for clearing up the cruft that has been clogging up your Mac’s storage, check out the following tutorials:
You can find way more Mac how-tos in our archive.
Microsoft Store, earlier known as the Windows Store, is a centralized place from where consumers can download Apps and Games. While you can always download software outside Microsoft’s digital Store, there are a lot of them available in the Store. In this post, we have written our Quick Start Guide for Windows Store to help you get started.How to use Microsoft Store in Windows 11/10
The primary reason why Windows Store was renamed to Microsoft Store because it’s just about software any more. Microsoft also lists Hardware and Accessories, but it could be limited based on the country. Here is the list of topics we will cover in this post:
Add/Remove Microsoft Account to Microsoft Store
Install an application or game from the Microsoft Store
Payment, Store Settings and My Library, and more
Finding installed Apps and Managing them
When you launch the Store, the top menu displays popular categories such as Gaming, Entertainment, Productivity, and Deals. Under Home, you have a carousel displaying popular apps and games. Followed by it, you have Top Apps, Featured, Top Games, and Collections. As you keep using the Store, you will also receive personalized suggestions under the “Picks for you” section, top free apps, and so on.1] Add/Remove Microsoft Account to Microsoft Store
The first thing you should know is that to use the Store, you need to use a Microsoft account. If you have created a Windows account that is linked with a Microsoft account, then you will be signed in using that account. If you want to use another account, you can always sign out and add a different Microsoft account.
That said, Microsoft store allows you to add multiple accounts as well. It can be your work or school account. If there is an app available on the Store which only works with your corporate or school account, then you can add them here, and then install the app.2] How to install an application or game from the Microsoft Store
Type the app name and press the Enter key. You should see the app suggestion as you type.
The search result will be categorized into Apps, Games, Xbox related items, etc.
If you notice, there are two important filters available
Department or Category such as Apps, Games, Movies, TV Shows, Membership and Avatar Items
Available on PC/Xbox/HoloLens/Mobile
Later you can checkout and install them in bulk.
If its paid application, you can make the payment during checkout.
Once installed, all the applications will be available in the Start Menu.
Read: How to use Wish List and Shopping Cart in Microsoft Store3] Payment, Store Settings and My Library, and more.
Read: Troubleshoot Microsoft Store payment failed errors.
The settings menu gives you access to some of the essential features such as the option to disable automatic updates, live tile settings, video autoplay, offline permissions, and the most important is to ask for the password for every purchase. Microsoft often shows suggestions and installs some apps as part of their default installation; we suggest you turn it off to stop installing unwanted apps.4] Finding installed Apps and Managing them
Microsoft keeps evolving Microsoft Store with every update. It is possible that the options might change a bit with time. While we plan to keep it updated if you see anything which is worth a change, let us know.
I hope the Quick Start Guide for Microsoft Store is helpful to you.
Read: How to set up & configure a new Windows computer.
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