Why choosing your app store is important: 700,000+ bad apps and 100,000+ developers have been kicked off the Google App Store. Apps on your mobile device are cool, entertaining, make life easier, and often all three. The downside is that apps can potentially gain access to your personal data and device functions, leading to concerning possibilities.
Apart from the official app stores, there are alternatives out there–but be careful which store you trust. Google’s end-of-year summary explains how and why they identified and removed over 700,000 apps in 2017, as well as 100,000 bad developers. Apple also has robust processes in place to prevent rogue apps from getting into the store, and to root out those that do sometimes slip through the net.
Other app stores, or so-called sideloaded apps that bypass normal installation, or jailbreaking a phone altogether may reduce or remove your protection from malicious apps and should only be used if you are absolutely certain of what you’re doing.
Even on the official stores, do still beware of apps that are deliberately given misleading names or graphics in an attempt to entice users to install stuff that isn’t quite what it appears to be. The official app stores do try to police this kind of thing, but it sometimes takes time for the audit process to catch up.