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Is Downloading MODDED Apps safe?

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Greetings and welcome :)

It really depends on the source.  If they are trusted and known throughout the community for the app in question then probably so and you should research what others have to say about the mod (forums etc., assuming they are discussed there), but otherwise it's a real gamble, especially if you're just looking for cracked/licensed versions of paid apps (a very common way for the bad guys to trick users into infecting themselves with Trojans and the like).

Honestly, the only 100% safe thing to do would be to only use un-modded apps from official sources, or if there are official modded versions (as is the case with some games, for example, especially when they have been released as open source), to download those.

The type of app you're trying to download can also play a big part in it, as some apps are more likely to be targets of malicious actors than others.  For example, cracked paid software like I mentioned before is a common target, as are many games, especially those launched through Steam as there are many threats that seek to harvest Steam login credentials and game assets that have value (such as in-game items which they can sell for real money).

At the very least, be sure to scan any apps you download with a good anti-malware solution like Malwarebytes and checking it with a multi-engine service such as VirusTotal would be a good idea as well, and if the download is only available from a Bittorrent site, warez/crack site or file sharing service like Megaupload etc. then it also has a higher chance of possibly being malicious (though obviously not guaranteed; just more likely than if it were hosted on a dedicated site or legitimate software forum related to the official version of the application in question).

If what you seek is a portable version of a piece of software that normally requires installation, and assuming the original software developer hasn't made one available, then I'd only trust it if hosted on a reputable site like PortableApps.com or MajorGeeks.com etc. where they are known to test and validate the files and software they host.

Edited by exile360

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By the way, if you're talking about mobile apps for smart phones etc., then many of the same guidelines still apply, and it would also be a very good idea to research why the app isn't hosted on the official store for your device/OS (like the Google Web Store, MS App Store, Apple's iOS app store etc.) because they will often reject or remove apps that violate their policies, such as embedding advertisements (adware) or collecting customer data (spyware) so if you can find any discussions about the app from unbiased users who have tried it or are familiar with it (not just people encouraging others to download it blindly) that would also be a good place to start.

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