Cell phone usage is on the rise all over the world, and with that, many companies and brands are releasing their own apps. Downloading apps is quick and easy, and most people do it without thinking. However, with the rise of cell phone apps, security is always a concern. Spyware and malware can be downloaded to your mobile if you are not careful.
Last year, governments all over the world began to ban certain cellphone apps – starting with TikTok. This controversy led to further consideration of various apps that are available from official Apple and Android app stores. From the United States government banning TikTok, Alipay, and WeChat, to India’s ban on casino apps, governments have cited a number of reasons to have tougher restrictions on what people can download. Officials are worried about cybersecurity, as well as access to apps that may be harmful to certain players, children, etc.
Despite these reasons, many banned apps have remained extremely popular! Some have even grown in popularity. Clearly, consumers do not always agree with the official take on foreign and locally-made apps. Since the public wants to continue to use various apps, tech companies have released some tips on how to stay safe and still use your favourite mobile applications.
Downloading Safe Apps
If you’re particularly worried about cell phone security and keep a lot of sensitive information on your mobile, you may want to stick to downloading apps you know are safe from your provider’s official store. Android and Apple have an approval process for new applications where they vet the creators and make sure that the app is secure enough for public usage. This involves checking that the app itself doesn’t use private information without your permission and includes encryptions in the coding that prevent information leaks.
Checking Third-Party Information
As stated earlier, being dropped from official stores hasn’t stopped many apps from becoming popular. Popularity doesn’t necessarily mean that it is safe. The best thing to do is perform a quick Google search to see if there have been any security leaks or problems with the app itself in the news. You should also look to see which company created the game, which is normally included when downloading the app. Search the company or creator’s name to make sure they are well-reviewed and create secure applications. Look at the number of downloads and the date the app was created, as these are also telling signs of a scam.
If you want to check the apps you’ve already downloaded or screen future ones, look out for suspicious app permissions. You can see these by going into your phone’s setting feature and going to “apps” or “app permissions” (phrasing may vary by phone type). When you download a new app, it will automatically ask you for permission to access certain information on your phone. For example, it is common sense when Facebook asks to access your contacts and photos – but it’s another thing when a game app asks for access to read your sensitive log data.
Use Discretion and Rely on Common Sense
Chances are that if you’re using your phone to download various apps, you’re not clueless when it comes to technology. Use your common sense when looking at new games and features to download. If a deal looks too good to be true, it may be a scam. Look for grammatical errors and low-quality web pages. Poor reviews or a complete lack of reviews online is another sign that the app you’re trying to download should probably stay off your phone. Check your permissions once in a while and look at the news to make sure the apps you have aren’t a security risk.