Many people don't think twice about downloading phone applications, whether to play a game, deposit checks or keep in touch with friends and family. But before you install another app, read these downloading safety tips.
What risks do malicious phone apps pose?
- Your contacts and call logs,
- Calendar appointments,
- Your GPS location;
- Your device's unique ID, or
- Internet data and information about how you use the app itself.
Smart phone app safety
- Understand what is safe in the “cloud”.
- Limit social media exposure.
- Understand social media safety tips to protect your information.
- Be cautious about what apps you download. Make sure you're downloading phone applications from reputable, trusted sources. Your best bet is your smartphone's official app store.
- Watch out for fake apps. Copycat apps are disguised to look like the real thing. You can tell them apart by checking developer names and reviews.
- Review the app permissions. Verify that phone applications won't access unnecessary information. For example, it makes sense that a social networking app would want access to your phone contacts, but a game app shouldn't need access to your text messages.
- Beware of free apps. Free apps or games are sometimes supported by advertisements, which could collect your personal information and sell it to third parties.
- Close or log out of apps when you aren't using them. This will prevent apps from accessing your information.
- Don't share passwords with your children so they can't accidentally download malicious programs.
- Verify your phone has a remote lock or wipe function in case it is lost or stolen. Information is less likely to be stolen from a locked phone.
Learn more tips for safer computing from the National Cyber Security Alliance, which also sponsors National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October. State Farm® also offers Identity Restoration Insurance to help make the recovery process easier, faster, and less expensive if you are the victim of a data breach or identity theft.