Read These Tips Before You Download Apps For Your Phone

apps - Read These Tips Before You Download Apps For Your Phone

Your phone is a threat. One of the easiest ways for criminals and other bad actors to weaponize your phone is by getting you to download a malicious app.

Once downloaded onto your phone, an app could gain access to your most sensitive personal and financial information, photos, conversations, and more.

Owning a phone means being smart about the apps you download and knowing the danger signs that an app is up to no good. Here’s what two app security experts say you need to watch out for before and after you download an app.

What to Do Before You Download an App

Use credible app stores.

“Stick to trusted sources for your apps, like the Play store, App store, or Amazon,” said Armando Orozco, a malware analyst with Malwarebytes.

Read the reviews.

Lukas Stefanko, a malware researcher at ESET, told BuzzFeed News that some people download scam apps even when the reviews clearly warn users to steer clear. Also, be wary of apps that seem to have only 5-star reviews from accounts that may not seem authentic, or that don’t offer much in the way of commentary. Unscrupulous app developers pay for reviews and ratings.

Check the star rating.

When looked at in combination, the reviews and star rating provide two powerful signals to evaluate an app. “Typically the bad apps will have a lower rating and some bad reviews,” Orozco said. Also, note whether the reviews and star ratings are out of sync (terrible reviews and 5 stars is a weird combo, for example).

By Craig Silverman

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