Fans of pirated applications risk their own safety.
In most cases, Android devices are infected through hacked Android applications downloaded from questionable websites or untrusted third-party app stores. Downloading such APKs is not only dangerous, but also harms software developers.
If it is possible to download applications bypassing the Google Play Store, it may be tempting to get this or that Android application for free by downloading its hacked version. And this is a very bad idea, since most of the Android malware is distributed through third-party channels.
Is it worth risking everything for one app? Below are five reasons why it is better not to install hacked programs.
- Hacked applications are one of the largest sources of malware and viruses
In general, hacked apps are modified versions of official apps from Google Play, in which premium features are unlocked. This point is important for understanding what will be discussed in the article below.
The scariest aspect is that if a hacker can hack a well-established application with excellent protection, he is almost certainly able to hack someone else’s smartphone through a modified version of the program and gain access to accounts, contacts, passwords and to the device as a whole.
According to the information security company Bitdefender, pirated applications can steal credit card data, financial information, address books, passwords and other information related to the identity of the device owner. Such applications are the most well-known sources of malware and viruses on both smartphones and desktop computers.
There are a number of methods by which you can scan APK files before installing them. However, when downloading the application via third-party channels, the system asks whether the developer needs to be trusted and whether the user really wants to install the program. Simply put, the decision remains with the user and the responsibility for all the consequences lies with him.
Therefore, from a security point of view, it is recommended to avoid hacked applications. It makes no sense to risk privacy because of a free copy of a paid application.
- Hacked applications are often distributed through malicious sources
The security risk is not only compromised applications, but also websites and third-party app stores that offer them. The reason is that most of them contain malware.
Such resources are teeming with pop-up advertising banners and new tabs and windows that open with every click. Each of these pop-ups is malicious in its own way. Some sites may offer forms to fill out or force you to like a Facebook page, which may actually be another pop-up link or a source for downloading another application. Such sites and third-party app stores offer ways to hack at every stage of downloading a pirated app.
The above are just some of the methods that endanger the user’s security when visiting questionable resources, but more creative ways of hacking can be found on such sites.
There is no guarantee that the APK file will work
Let’s assume that the first two steps have been completed and the APK file has been successfully downloaded to the device. But this does not guarantee the performance of the file, which means that all the risk was in vain. The fact is that websites offering hacked applications lure users to the resource and benefit from visits due to traffic growth.
Popular applications have an extensive user audience, which is what the owners of dubious sites use, seducing visitors with catchy names and fake offers related to popular programs. This and the above risks are a sufficient reason not to download hacked applications.
- Possible account ban and legal problems
Usually, after installing the hacked version, the user logs in to the application. When trying to log in, the user risks being caught, losing access to the account or facing legal problems. Most developers embed anti-cheat protection or anti-piracy code into applications. Since most programs require Internet access to work, when connected, the code contacts the application server and measures are taken against the user, for example, account ban. In the worst case, developers can block the IP address of the intruder. As a result, it will be impossible to log in to the application even from another account.
- The use of hacked applications hinders innovation and deprives developers of earnings
Developers create applications in order to make a living. This is what motivates them to innovate and support applications and ideas. The pirated version of the application deprives its creator of a source of income.
Security and complete rejection of pirated software
As mentioned above, hacked applications pose a significant risk, and for your own safety it is better to stay away from them. Alternatively, you can look for free distributions of licensed applications, special discounts on them or cashback offers. In this way, you can legally and safely get the right application, and even financially support its developer.