Almost every popular mobile platform has its own app store; Android has Google Play Store, iOS devices can download apps and games from iTunes, Windows Phone has Microsoft App Store and BlackBerry has its own store. Companies make sure all the apps and games on their app stores meet their quality and security standards. It is highly recommended to download apps from official app stores only. But many people download and install apps from other sources as well.
- For example, there are tons of app stores available for Android devices; Amazon App Store and BlackMart are two popular ones. Although Android devices do not allow users to install apps from unknown sources but this is just a security feature that could be easily turned off from the settings. On the other hand, users cannot install apps from unofficial sources on iOS devices if the device is not jailbroken.
- The process of jailbreaking is not that difficult as there are hundreds of tutorials available on the internet. That means everyone can jailbreak the device and download apps from unofficial sources. Apps from these sources may come with potential threats that could steal your personal or financial information stored on the device or damage the device itself.
- Google and Apple both have implemented multiple security layers and standards in their app stores. Google regularly checks millions of apps available on Google Play Store for potential weaknesses and security vulnerabilities. Apps and games available on other sources could come with unnecessary permissions that can help hackers and cyber criminals to get access to the device and steal the data.
- Contrary to popular belief, mobile devices (regardless of their platform) are more vulnerable to spyware, virus and malware than desktop computers. Downloading and install apps from unofficial sources dramatically raise the risk of getting your device infected with malware and virus. It is not 100% safe to download and install apps and games from other sources than Google Play Store for Android and iTunes for iOS devices.
- At rare cases, apps which gained much popularity regardless of their origin are being installed from every possible source. The great example is Pokemon Go, which was not launched officially in the set of countries, so people was forced to look for a ways to install it unofficially. Obviously, there were a lot of cases when such installs led to spyware infection, so many parents have chosen to block Pokemon Go on their children mobiles, or at least keep strict control of this game.
- Although security firms have found many malware infected apps even on official app stores but as compared to other sources, app stores are considered generally safe and statistics prove that too. So, always download and install apps from official app stores like Google Play Store and iTunes.