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Fake Apps Are a Real Problem

In the short ten years that they’ve been around, mobile apps have grown to become a staple of modern digital life. With more than five million apps currently available for download in the major app stores, and with over 2,000 new apps being uploaded every day, mobile apps are big business.

Fifty-eight percent of shoppers consistently browse e-commerce apps and 49% of all website traffic now comes directly from mobile app users. All this browsing directly translates into spending. Revenue from mobile commerce is expected to account for more than half of all e-commerce sales by 2021 and is estimated to reach $6.3 trillion dollars by 2021.

Brands have quickly come to realize that ensuring their customers have an authentic and safe experience when downloading and using their branded apps is key to ensuring consumer loyalty. Studies show that 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it offers a personalized experience and 76% of customers who identify as loyal to a specific brand have downloaded that company’s branded app. On the flip side, statistics indicate that 40% of users will go to a competitor after a bad mobile experience.

As branded apps have grown in popularity with consumers, the number of inauthentic apps being released into the market by bad actors has also exploded. Rogue and fake apps have become the fastest-growing threat to consumers, with malicious activity and fraud attacks linked to them increasing by 191% from 2018 to 2019. The McAfee Mobile Threat Report 2019 reported that almost 65,000 new fake apps were detected in December of 2018 alone.

Most major app platforms employ precautions to try and mitigate the number of malicious apps uploaded, but bad actors continue to find ways to bypass these security measures. Given the importance and pervasiveness of mobile apps, it’s absolutely critical for brands to incorporate comprehensive mobile apps protection into their overall brand protection and security strategies.

Every second a rogue app is live, it poses a threat to your consumers and to your brand. Mitigating the potential damage that may result from an infringing app requires ongoing vigilance and immediate action on your part and the part of your enforcement team.

By Frederick Felman, Former Chief Marketing Officer at AppDetex

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