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Downloading Secure Mobile Apps

Not every app store is a secure place to shop. Know some best practices before you begin downloading with these handy tips.

Finding fun or useful new apps is part of the joy of device and laptop ownership, but not all app sources are trustworthy. Here’s a best-practices checklist to keep you safe as you shop:

  • Research the app publisher. Take a look at other apps available from the developer or publisher to get a sense of what else they’re offering. If any of the apps look sketchy, shop elsewhere.
  • Take time to read user reviews. In the app world, users are very vocal about what they like (or don’t like). See what they’re saying, and also do a search for other online reviews from technology news sites.
  • Do a Google search using the app name. If there’s been a malware issue with the app, it likely will pop up in the top results.
  • Read through app permissions information first. Whenever you download an app, you’ll get a list of permissions — take the time to read through it. Determine if the app is asking for more personal data than its function requires. For example, if a stock tracker needs access to your contact list, it’s better to find another app without that level of intrusion.
  • Consider a malware or antivirus scanner for your smartphone. These types of mobile-security apps have been slow to catch on, but try being a pioneer. You could prevent some serious security issues as a result.
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