Downloading an app in APK format to your Android smartphone or tablet is an easy way to bypass restrictions (such as when an app is not available in your region) or get updates faster, and sometimes also if the desired application is not available in the Play Store. This trick works very well, however, it presents some significant risks.
Downloading an APK file: what are the risks?
On the one hand, application installation outside of the Play Store is not allowed by default on Android devices. You must activate a small option (Unknown sources) in the settings to be able to do so.
On the other hand, by installing an application in .apk format, you should know that it will not be updated automatically. Whenever a new version of the app is available, you need to update it manually.
Another much more serious drawback is the risk that the downloaded application is infected with a virus, malware, adware, etc.
What are the solutions?
It is more than recommended that you download your APK files from trusted sources. A site like idoras.com is considered by the Android community to be a safe place to download APK files.
Another way to prevent malware from being loaded onto your Android device through APK files is to scan them for viruses before they are installed. There are a number of services that will help you analyze an APK file before installing it on your device. Here are a few.
How to check if an APK file is infected with viruses such as malware, adware, etc.?
VirusTotal is a completely free online service that is able to detect all kinds of viruses or malware within a file. All you have to do is upload your APK file (up to 128 MB maximum) by clicking on the " Choose a file " button before clicking on the "Analyze! " Button . ". After a few seconds, an analysis report will be generated.
APKs allow you to install any application on Android, even overcoming the limitations or constraints imposed by the phone manufacturers or the Play Store itself, but they can also hide the threats: if we want to follow this way, it is always advisable to use one of the security methods seen above. , so that we can maintain the integrity of our operating system and the personal data stored on it.
If we notice that our phone is slowing down, opening strange windows, or responding slowly to commands, maybe the infection is already in progress; in this case, we advise you to immediately read our guides on how to detect and remove spyware or malware on Android is The application that protects Android from malware and problems: Safe Security, so that we can recover all the features of our Android device.