Today is the international Computer Security Day, and so it's the perfect occasion to remind everyone of the importance of being aware of basic security risks. The human/social layer is always the most vulnerable in any system (and Aptoide, being a social driven community is no exception), and by making sure you take some active measures to counter malicious software you can make yourself a thousand times safer!
Aptoide has been growing it's user base steadily for the past four years years - as a result, it has seen a huge increase in the number and diversity of apps. Since it's an open social platform with user uploaded content, we must take extra measures to ensure it's consistent quality over time.
We won't lie to you. It's a challenge. There are malicious users who try to upload malware disguised as popular apps all the time. There's annoying adware as well. That's precisely why we have an anti-malware system that constantly scans and filters the content on every Aptoide store. Our system is always updating and improving ensuring the best experience for the Aptoide community.
Our in-house security expert Diogo Pires is the man behind this system, "some marketplaces do not employ comprehensive means to counteract the high injection flow of unwanted applications" he says. "Aptoide has made the protection of its users one of its key concerns - That's why we have developers continuously developing and upgrading Aptoide Anti-Malware System".
But still, how can you be sure it's safe? Here's the number one measure to make yourself safe: Our Trusted Badge.
You've probably already noticed that on Aptoide a lot of apps have 'Trusted' badges - but what exactly does it mean? Basically, it means that that specific app has been verified by our Anti-Malware Platform aka Aptoide Sentinel.
But how does that super Aptoide Sentinel works? Well, the system is actually not that complicated. It has a number of steps which every uploaded APK has to go through. If everything checks out at every stage then the Trusted Badge is given to that app.
Initially, it stays in a temporary pool waiting to be scanned. Then, it goes through a number of Anti-Virus systems. If they fail to detect any threat, the app signature is validated and compared to another marketplace. In the end, there's even a nice Malware Engine that analyzes the app behaviour. That's when it is all set to be downloaded and installed on your device!
There's a rescanning scheme that ensures that an app is scanned at least 3 times within 48 hours of its upload, at least 4 times within a week and at least 5 times within a month. In addition, we also keep rescanning all the apps in Aptoide over and over, even if they've been in the stores for months or even years, meaning that an application is rescanned several times to ensure its safe to use by Aptoide users and to soften the work of manually testing applications.
So, as a basic principle you should only download apps with the Trusted badge, avoiding apps that have either a Warning - meaning that, while not malware per se, there's something strange about it (either has adware or there’s something wrong with the app signature) or Unknown - meaning it's still waiting to be scanned. If we detect malware in an app it is instantly removed and it won't be available to download.
Our CEO Paulo Trezento advises "next time you use Aptoide check for the Trusted Stamp, it means it's 100% safe".
The best way to stay safe is to always look for Trusted apps!
Also, you should know that every Trusted app, from every user store on Aptoide, will also be available on the Aptoide main apps repository. Aptoide is about social app discovery - users recommending and curating apps to users - so main apps is a central repository where all the safest content is accumulated.