5 Mobile App Safety Suggestions

October 03, 2018

What would smartphones be without apps? Boring. Apps are what make smartphones so fun and even useful. But, like all things online, caution is in order when considering what apps to download.  

While any app can raise privacy issues, today we are talking about more serious dangers like malware that can damage your phone, your data, or even unknowingly turn you into an emailing bot.

Keep these tips in mind when you’re looking for for apps to download.

Where you shop matters. Although even the largest and most reputable app stores won’t guarantee the safety of every app they carry, apps from sources like Google Play and Apple are more likely to have been vetted to some extent. If an app isn’t on a major app store, there is a reason—and the reason sometimes means bad news for the consumer. The other benefit of the larger app stores is that you can learn how often the app has been downloaded. A higher number generally means a safer, more reliable app.

Pause and take a breath. When you see an app that sounds great, the temptation is strong to immediately download it.  But, a little research will go a long way toward eliminating later headaches. You can do this by checking out the developer’s website. Is it professional looking? Is there a clear privacy policy? Is there contact information?

Watch out for nosiness. Apps need access to some elements on your phone. But if they are asking for permission to access to information that is not directly related to the purpose of the app, that is a big red flag. Do not grant it. In fact, it is probably a good idea to avoid this app entirely.

Think about security even after you download the app. Wireless security is always a concern when using mobile apps. Remember that even the most secure app won’t help if you are using an unsecured wifi network.   

 

Apps aren’t just mobile anymore. Apps are becoming available for computer operating systems too. Note that secure remote access to many GW systems is available through a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This page will fill you in on how to access GW’s VPN.