With the rise of smartphones came an increasing need for customization. This came in the form of mobile apps that allow you to add functionality to your device. From to-do lists to games to streaming services, there are millions of apps to choose from. However, not all apps are made equally, and neither are their creators. Many apps are created with malicious intentions that will hack into your phone or even contain viruses to render it unusable. But how do you know if an app is a scam?
Here are 5 tips for mobile app predator prevention:
1. Do your research
Google is at your service! Look up the name of the app and any other information that the app store tells you to find out some background information on it. Especially check out the software reviews, because if someone had a negative experience they will be sure to post about it all over the web.
2. Look into the developer
Another important piece of information you can discover through the app store is the name of the app’s developer. Some developers will be accredited by the app store with a badge appearing next to their name. Click on the developer and do research on them to see what other apps they have created (if any) and if they have a reputable, professional website or social media presence. If you’re able to get any personal information, like their name or company phone number, you can use a service like Kiwi Searches to get more details about their criminal record to ensure their intentions are good.
3. Check permission requirements
When you click on the app you want within the app store, the description will also include a list of the permissions requested from your phone. Some apps will require access to your contacts, messages, call history, or other secure information. If it seems irrelevant to the function of the app, be wary. The more apps that have access to your information, the more likely you are to be scammed and have your data stolen.
4. Download security software
Security and antivirus software isn’t only for desktop and laptop computers. Phones themselves are miniature, portable computers that also need protecting. The best way to avoid app scams is to look at security software reviews to find an app to protect your device and alert you of potential scams when downloading other apps to your phone. The peace of mind it will afford you is almost as valuable as the protection it provides to your device.
5. Only use credible sources
There are two main sources of mobile apps: the Google Play Store and the App Store, for Android and iPhone devices respectively, which are the two most popular devices for app users. If you download an app from any other resource or online site, you run the risk of accidentally programming malware, ransomware, or spyware into your cell phone instead of the intended application.
Remember to always listen to your gut when it comes to your findings. No one is safe from hackers or viruses. These scary takeovers of our devices risk our data and potentially even our lives. Take caution when downloading apps to your phone and follow our advice for making smart decisions during the process.
Although it can be daunting and scary to allow our lives to rest in the hands of our devices, there are benefits, too, to going completely digital. To find out more about this, see our related post: Your Financial Security Is At Stake: Why Digital Funds Are Safer Than Cash