App Safety

Apps are part of our lives now. Remember that slogan, “There’s an App for That”? Nowadays, it seems like there really is an app for everything — from games to shopping, fitness, beauty, hobbies and more. No wonder that almost 50% of all smartphone users download at least one new app a month.

Just like with any device or program, though, it’s important to choose and use your apps carefully. Some apps may be scams or contain viruses. Here’s what you can do to keep yourself safe.

First, look out for permissions. Any time you install an app, it’ll ask you to allow it permission to access functions of your device — stuff like the camera, text messaging ability, and contacts list. But should a fitness app need to use your camera, or a game need to know who you call? You can click “Deny” to keep an app from getting certain permissions.

Second, get your apps from the official sources. Apple App Store and Google Play have standards for what apps they include, and something from the official store is less likely to cause problems for you.