One must have told you to avoid taking apps from unknown sources. It is a good suggestion to consider the potential risks of downloading apps from third-party app stores.
A major risk that should be avoided is downloading software from any third-party app store that brings malware to your device – smartphone or your precious tablet.
Such infective entities can allow a stranger to control your device. Also, it will enable hackers to access your contact list, passwords, and even financial accounts.
In this article, you will learn about third-party apps and app stores. Moreover, you will know how to keep your smartphone and confidential data safe.
What’s a third-party application?
A third-party app is basically a software application made by a developer other than the manufacturer of a device or its operating system.
For example, app development firms or individual developers develop many applications for Google’s or Apple’s operating systems.
Such developers also create applications for their own devices. In that case, it is a first-party or “native” app. But the most of the available applications are third-party apps on alternative app stores for iOS.
Official app stores vs. third-party app stores
Two popular and the biggest official app stores are Apple’s AppStore and Google’s PlayStore. Anyone can visit it to download required mobile applications for his iPhone or Android device, respectively.
Either platform contains native apps, too – the apps Apple develops for its iOS or Google built for its Android devices.
These two platforms also offer third-party apps, in fact, millions of apps. Many companies and developers – third-parties, not Apple or Google – use to develop apps to work on iOS or Android devices.
The thing is that third-party apps in the official app stores have to obey strict development criteria. Moreover, the stores assess the applications for any offensive content or malware. The question is, are they safe for downloading?
Third-party app stores might not reach the level of scrutiny towards the apps they allow to be included in their app stores. It might be tricky somehow. While offering many safe applications, third-party app stores can provide dangerous apps too. Such apps can infect your mobile device with malicious codes such as adware and ransomware as the ads or regulations can be “injected” into well-known apps one might purchase via a third-party store. More you can read about these on cruzingspeed.com
Are third-party app stores all the same?
It’s necessary to remember that not all third-party app stores come with the same risk level.
Google Play isn’t accessible in all countries, for example. So, many users in such countries would depend on apps that may be legitimate from another app store.
Know about one thing that all third-party app stores have: They aren’t restricted — which means the operating systems’ owners don’t control them.
App developers usually find that lack of restriction useful for them. Why so? There are two reasons:
- They can target their audiences in ways that are impossible using official app stores.
- They may get more space for their apps in a “niche” market.
You might be enticed to download apps in third-party stores; however, you can’t be sure about them.