Smartphones have completely changed the way we interact with technology and go about our lives. Never has so much information been so readily accessible at our fingertips, and part of this is down to the existence of apps.
Also See: Best Finance Apps for Apple iPad
Apps are essentially 'lite' pieces of software that can be downloaded in a couple of minutes to perform a specific function on a phone or tablet. Because they're so quick and easy to find and install and because there's such a wide variety of apps out there, it's almost always possible to find the perfect app for whatever you want to do and have it on your device in a matter of moments.
At the same time, unlike computer software, apps don't tend to go wrong, to run slowly or to come packed with viruses. It's all just there with minimum hassle.
Or at least that's the idea anyway. Unfortunately you see, smartphones have become more complex and more high-tech and apps have followed suit. As such, some apps now do take a bit longer to install. Some do crash. And some do come with security threats. It's that last category that you need to worry about - and especially if you're giving your phone all of your private data. Read on to discover which apps might pose a threat.
1. Cheap Looking Apps
If you notice any apps that look 'dodgy' on the Play Store - and perhaps have poor quality images next to them and bad customer reviews - then you should do some more research before downloading. Often these apps come with some nasty surprises, such as spyware. Best case scenario is that they come with those annoying Push Notifications that offer you Viagra in your notification tray… Annoying…
2. Banking Apps
Banking apps are of course not a threat in themselves, in fact they tend to be made in-house by banks and are as such generally reputable. The problem though is that banking apps give your phone access to your bank accounts, which is a problem if you end up with a piece of spyware on your phone. This is why it's important to also install security software on your phone if you're going to using these kinds of features, and why you shouldn't run a banking app on a routed phone…
3. NFC Payment Apps
NFC stands for Near-Field-Communication and is basically like Bluetooth that works by simply touching your device onto another. This is what allows your phone to be used like a debit card and swiped at the till. All fine and well and very handy, but not if people abuse that feature and start swiping your phone in your pocket. Be smart and make sure you remember to exit the app and keep your phone safely in a bag where it can't be easily reached. That's good advice anyway.
4. Apps that ask for Too Many Permissions
When you install a new app, take a look at the 'permissions' it asks for. These tell you what features of your phone it wants to use, which can include things like 'GPS' and 'SMS'. This is fine if the app is supposed to tell you where you're texting from, but if it's a wallpaper pack then you need to ask why it needs those functions - it could be giving information away about you or even charging you money by texting premium numbers.
Make like your phones people and be smart!
This Article is written by Jason Haddad, a tester at wellresearchedreviews.com. He is a tech enthusiast and enjoys reading tech magazines in his spare time. He often shares his views and opinions on apps that can be a threat to phone's security.