What is sideloading? And why you should know about it?

Mobile Threat Defense
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Spoiler: Downloading apps is a risky way

 

You may have heard about the dangers of clicking suspicious email links or entering personal information on inappropriate websites

But did you know that, despite this, you are unknowingly taking hidden security risks?

 

What is sideloading?

While it may sound like a cool skateboard trick at first, sideloading is a common technique that puts your device at risk to your security without even realizing it.

 

So what happens with sideloading? Generally, sideloading refers to transferring data between two devices (for example, an MP3 file from a laptop to a smartphone), similar to uploading and downloading files on the Internet.

 

Pay attention to the source

But things get a little fuzzy when we start talking about sideloaded Android apps. On mobile devices, sideloading refers to installing apps from sources other than the official app store. The problem starts here. Apps from Google Play, Amazon Apps, or the Galaxy Store have undergone extensive security testing, but sideloading apps from other sources can be a bit of a wild west — there are no rules, and it can even be dangerous. what is the reason? These apps may contain hidden malware that could compromise your device or even your personal information.

 

You are already well protected

Well, before you worry too much, you should know that Samsung smartphones like the Galaxy A51 are already protected from malicious sideloading Android apps (thanks to the Samsung Knox security platform).

 

As a side note, Samsung devices block sideloaded apps by default. So, to bypass the safety net, you have to allow access to certain apps in the settings yourself.

However, on older Android versions (7 and below) you should check the "Unknown sources" box in the settings (Settings > Lock Screen & Security). With it, you can download any application.

 

Besides, you're unlikely to find yourself in a situation where you have to sideload an app. It is always better and safer to just download apps from the official app store.

 

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Source: https://bit.ly/blog-220711_src, Samsung