App junkie? All you need to know before installing a new app!

15 Apr

The well-known phrase “there’s an app for that” has only become popular because it is so true and because we are a world of ‘app junkies’!

There seems to be an app for absolutely everything, and while the majority of apps do exactly what they claim to do, and so pose no real threat to your smartphone, there are others that are designed to wreak havoc on your smartphone and put your sensitive data at serious risk. These malicious apps expose you to the following risks:

  • Malware,
  • Privacy and data security breaches,
  • Wasting of resources such as data, battery power etc.

The only way to protect yourself from a malicious app is to know how to tell a good app apart from a bad one. Often to do so, a person needs to know what the characteristics of a good app are.

We use our phones to conveniently store large amounts of personal information. While app stores do their best to promote only quality apps to the market, it is impossible for them to guarantee the safety and security of any app. Users must do their research on the app they are interested in before simply hitting the “download” button.

If you do encounter a malicious app in the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, it is important to report the app so that it can be removed, ensuring that others don’t suffer the same fate!

Consider the following before installing a new app

Knowing the characteristics of a good app is the first step to protecting yourself from malicious apps. Consider the following before you hit the download button:

  • Do your research. Verify that a reputable company has developed the app. Check the terms of service and make sure that there is a clear and easy way to contact the developers if you run into problems with the app. Read the reviews!
  • Scrutinise the permissions. Any apps you download should have limited permissions. The permissions included will give the vendor or developer access to specific information and data on your phone. The app should only have access to services on your phone that are essential to its functioning. If there is a long list of permissions required to run the app, then you need to be a little wary of the motives behind it.  Understand the permissions list and decide for yourself if it is reasonable for the app to request the permissions that it does.
  • How many times has the app been downloaded? The more an app has been downloaded and rated, the more trustworthy it is likely to be. As a rule of thumb, apps with over 10 million downloads are usually more trustworthy than those with only a few hundred downloads.

Be careful with your personal information

When downloading and installing a mobile app, you will be required to register some of your personal information. Be cautious of providing your banking details, credit card details, or debit card details with an app. Even safe apps experience data breaches, so make sure that you only provide details as needed.

Have you ever encountered a malicious app? Let us know – we’d love to help spread the word!

Comments are closed.