7 Tips To Protect Yourself From Apps Which Could Steal Your Data

Aadhya Khatri - Feb 15, 2019

7 Tips To Protect Yourself From Apps Which Could Steal Your Data

The tips are from experts in data security might keep you away from data breaches.

Our personal information is now a target of theft, and the apps we download might be what they use to steal from us. Some of them have been proved to carry malware or handing your data to a third party for profit.

That much fraud is enough to deter any users the next time they see the app they like. However, apps are so good of a tool to overlook. The best thing you can do now is to arm yourself with knowledge on how to shield yourself from these malicious intentions without saying goodbye to apps in general for good.

Use Password Manager Apps

LastPass is one of the best password manager apps

You may have heard this so many times before but creating a strong password is still the best first step to protect yourself online. And for the word “strong”, "123456" is definitely not the best idea to be a password. Using more numbers and symbols is useful but only to a certain extent. In fact, as password’s strength is measured by its complexity, length, and unpredictability, the best option is a row of randomly picked characters, which can hardly be found in a dictionary or can withstand brute force. The thing here is not many people can remember that kind of password.

Helping users generate and manage these effective passwords is exactly why password managers were born.

It is also advisable not to reuse a password for another account to avoid a series of breaches if one of your accounts is harmed.

Anderson Technology’s IT System Administrator Joe Baker said that his top pick was LastPass.

Use VPN Whenever You Connect To A Public Wi-fi

What Is A Vpn
Use a VPN whenever you connect to a public wi-fi

VPN can protect you from stealing attempts made by someone who is also connected to the same Wi-fi. That is not all, it can also help you get access to more content by unblocking websites and bypassing filter.

The number VPN providers are large and not all of them can be trusted. Some of them can even go free of charge but have doubtful behaviors.

No matter how rarely you intend to use the VPN, do not go easy and overlook the service agreement.

Pay Attention To App Permission

App Permissions Request En
Does the request reasonable?

Most experts would agree on the particular practice of checking what the apps want to have from you. When you allow an app to access your contact list or your location, think of the cases that they will use them. Do not leave any permissions unread before you press the allow button, according to digital privacy expert Ray Walsh.

Stephen Hart, Cardswitcher’s CEO said that another thing to consider was whether the request is reasonable. If you think that the data the app is asking for has nothing to do with what it does, that is a red flag. For example, if you are installing a calculator and it wants to have access to your GPS data, that kind of request is questionable as a calculator does not need your location to be able to do the math.

According to Shlomie Liberow, a technical program manager, any odd behavior your device has after you install the app should also be treated as a warning sign. One of the easiest ways to check is to pay attention to your battery life. If it drains faster than usual, it might indicate that the app is running in the background without you knowing it.

Do Your Homework On The App And Its Developer

Learn about the app and its developer

As with other tools or merchandise you intend to use or buy, checking the company that made it for their credibility is an advisable step to take. In this case, search engines are still a place to go for answers. The suggested keywords are the name of the developer or the app with the term “scam” or “data scandal.”

This is Stephen Hart’s thought on the problem. If the company has had data breach accusations and done nothing to clear its name, do not be the next victim.

If it was not the app, but the developer is the one who has bad credit for one of their other products, you should stay away too, said Joe Baker.

Do Not Share Too Much Of Your Information On Social Media

The Memory of Cambridge Analytica is still fresh

Social media is a kind of addiction that many feel hard to resist. The Cambridge Analytica scandal was one of Facebook’s most serious problems in 2018, which has had a heavy toll on its popularity but is also a warning call for people who shared their information online without giving it a second thought.

Staying clear from these sites completely is hard to do but a good idea. However, even if you commit to that, you can still be data harvesters’ prey. They may get to you via your friends and families’ accounts and learn a lot about you.

The more they know about you, the easy it is a make well-targeted advertisement so only share the absolutely necessary.

Bobby Kittleberger of Legal Software Help shared that some people are even afraid that apps can take advantage of the smartphone’s microphone to learn more about us to gather information for ads.

Update Your Phone Operating System

Lumia 830 Software Update
Make sure that your phone stays up to date

Taking time to keep your phone OS up to date is one way to gain the upper hand over those who try to steal from you, thus keeping your personal information and your phone safer.

Hart said that these updates act as vaccinations for your devices. As hackers continuously come up with new ways trespass your privacy, make sure that you stay ahead of them.

He also advised on allowing your phone to automatically update so that you do not have to do it manually.

Go To Google And Apple’s Store Only

Ios12 Iphone X Ipad Pro App Store Today
Apple vetted all of the apps available on its store

Not 100% of apps on Google or Apple’s store are credible but these places definitely better than others to find or download an app.

Hart said that the apps you see on the stores are screened to make sure that they do not have shady intention with your data and what they can do to protect it.

The worst case scenario is the hacker behind the app can kick you out and take over control of your device. Apple has a stricter regulation than Google Store so the risk of the latter is relatively higher.

The life span of the app is another indicator of how trustworthy the app is. If the app has been around for a long time, you will have more user review to read and make your decision. Reviews can be faked so make sure that the app has mixed reviews. Besides, you should also question reviews that have only rating without explanation.


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