Not every free APK that you install on your device is safe. If the app comes from some unknown sources, there is a big chance that it carries malicious codes that may harm your device or privacy. Even if you download it from Google Play Store, the risk is not completely eliminated. Google regularly remove Play Store apps that it deems malicious, so before Google detect them, they can still attack your device if you accidentally install them. Here are four measures to take to make sure that your device, your data and your privacy are protected when you use Android device.
- Never turn on unknown sources option in your Android security settings.
Almost every Android user is tempted to turn on this option since the first time they use their gadget. They may find free games Android from sources other than Google Play Store and wish to install the APK directly to their device. The worse scenario is that they simply want to install the free hacked version of paid or freemium apps stored in the Play Store. Whatever the reason is, turning on this option to allow the device to accept apps from unknown sources is not a reasonable decision as it makes the device susceptible to malicious attack hidden in some mysterious apps.
- Always download apps from reputable sources.
The safest place to get Android apps and games is Google Play Store. Google constantly monitors all apps that are published on its Play Store, so there is smaller security risk that you have to deal with if you download and install apps from the Play Store. Of course, Play Store is not the only reputable place to get Android apps and games because you can also download them from third-party app repositories with known reputation, such as Amazon Appstore and SlideME. So, if you are so tempted to turn on the unknown sources option because you want to install apps from those places or because you want to try the app that you develop on your own, you need to make sure that the installed apps come from reputable sources.
- Protect your device with a reliable antivirus app.
To add more layer of protection against malware and other malicious attacks/intrusions, you should install an antivirus app on your device. Antivirus app checks every downloaded app for malicious codes and blocks them for good. Antivirus app is especially useful if you want to install apps from unknown sources. Some apps even offer extended protections, such as locking your device when it is lost, to make sure that your data and privacy are secured when some unauthorized one handles your device.
- Be aware of the type of permission you grant to specific apps.
Most apps that you install on your device will request certain types of permission, such as accessing your contacts or your data. Always be cautious when you want to grant such permission. If a flashlight app requests permission to access your contacts, you may need to be wary because a flashlight never needs access to contacts.
By taking all of those security measures, you can make sure that you and your device will always be protected even if you have to use free download apk that comes from sources with questionable reputation.