When it comes to downloading apps and games, Android fans are in some sort of predicament. While Google Play is often the go to spot for downloading apps and games, the concerns over security makes many weary of downloading from it. It is true that its policies are less restrictive than other app stores, so the issue of malware discourages people from exploring its full potential.
As sketchy as it is to download something from a uTorrent, there are actually even worse App download platforms available out there. Due to little or no regulations placed on these stores, they have become the hub for displaying scams and malware for unsuspecting visitors.
The Apps available for download on these websites are usually third party Android Apps with little or no restrictions. The developers are not vetted therefore anyone can come up with an App and upload it for the public to download. Hackers and cyber criminals have especially turned these stores to their hubs, stealing people’s identities, money among other things.
According to a report posted by RiskIQ in 2019, one of such websites stood at the top of the list – 9game.
Short history on 9game
9game is an Indian owned platform for downloading games. Because of its poor regulations mechanisms, it has many visitors, developers and users alike. The store has over one hundred thousand games available for download and the number increases every minute.
What’s The problem?
Many stores such as the apple store individually verify any App request that passes through their store manually and only when they are sure it’s authentic do they allow for its upload. This is the problem that 9game has failed to address.
In its 2019 report, it was made known that close to 62,000 new malicious apps were hosted on the 9game store. That’s a lot! This alone makes the 9game store very risky to navigate.
What about Xiaomi?
There are many other smartphone app stores offering the same services as Google play store and Apple store. Some of these offer preloaded App stores that come with the phone once purchased. One of the smartphone manufacturers that offers preloaded app store that comes with the phone once purchased is Xiaomi. The Xiaomi brand is a recent phone brand making waves in the mobile phone market. Its beautiful designs and functionality makes them a top choice for customers.
Xiaomi however comes with its own fair share of troubles. They had a major breakthrough with it as they offered reward based systems and unique applications such as the Lite version of Apps and compressed Apps. Their reward system involves offering virtual coins to users who log into their website. These coins can be converted into real cash which users can use to buy Mi coupons or electronic accessories.
All these features seem great for an upcoming phone company right? So what is the problem with the Xiaomi App store you may ask?
Well, it can be summed up into two basic things:
- Entertainment of Third party Apps. It’s almost impossible to have an App store without any third party Apps. This is because shutting out third party Apps can greatly limit a brand’s scope so to speak. Unfortunately, inviting these Apps also means inviting along their baggage sometimes in the form of malware. The more Apps they let in, the more compromised their store is.
- Improper vetting of third party Apps. The reason why top rated stores like the Apple store managed to stay afloat from malware and dangerous Apps id because they have a standard vetting system. They closely scrutinise all Apps submitted for review and reject anyone they have doubts about. Xiaomi App store does not do such in-depth checks which is why a lot of malware Apps is found on the App.
While Xiaomi store was rated by RiskIQ as one of the stores with the most malicious contents, the 9game App store still stands at the top of the list.
How can I ensure that I do not download malicious contents from these stores?
The most important thing is information. Once you are informed you will be able to make smarter choices while visiting these stores. In order to ensure your safety, try not to download apps from third party apps stores.