Phone Applications - Downloading Safety

Use Caution When Downloading Apps

Two women looking at a smartphone

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's at risk?

Apps often ask for access to your personal information before you can open them. This information can include but isn't limited to:

  • Your contacts and call logs
  • Calendar appointments
  • GPS location
  • Your phone's unique ID
  • Internet data

App safety

  • Don't download just any app. Ensure 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.
  • Research the app thoroughly. Check app store reviews and ratings, read up on the app developer and don't skim over the privacy policy —¬†this will reveal what data the app collects and shares.
  • 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 phone applications 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.

Make sure your phone has a remote lock or wipe function in case it is lost or stolen. Thieves are less likely to steal personal information from a locked phone.

Disclosures

State Farm (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates) is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites hyperlinked from this page. State Farm has no discretion to alter, update, or control the content on the hyperlinked, third party site. Access to third party sites is at the user's own risk, is being provided for informational purposes only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any of the products which may be referenced on such third party sites.