Apps. There are probably dozens of them on your mobile and there is one for everything. Yet there are a few mistakes that everyone makes while using apps. These mistakes can be very annoying and even dangerous.
That apps can be dangerous is nothing new. For example, Google previously warned app developers that they need to be clearer to their users when selling location information. Many apps just pass on this data without your actually wanting to.
These five mistakes on apps give hackers free rein
For example, this allows an anonymous hacker to steal all your data without you even realizing it. They can get your last name, address job and even your social security number. Therefore you should always pay attention to how you use apps. If you avoid these five mistakes, you will be much further ahead.
1. Having app features enabled
Before you can use an app, you often have to give access to different parts of your phone. For example, you are asked if the app may use your location, gallery or even your camera. Usually, without thinking, you immediately click ‘while using this app’.
This route obviously takes the least effort, but be careful. Over time, you can lose track of which application you’ve given which permissions. That could put you at risk if one of these is ever hacked. If you’re hacked through an app in which you’ve given permission to your gallery, for example, the hacker can also access your photos in no time. Fortunately, you can manage these permissions on a per-application basis within a few clicks.
The App Store. (Image: EPA/RITCHIE B. TONGO)
If you want to do this on an Android smartphone, first go to settings. Then click on “apps. Here you select the application you want to modify. After this, choose the option ‘permissions’. In this section you can choose which app has access to which function.
iPhone users can also go to the settings. Then select “privacy. Next, choose the category you want to adjust, for example photos, microphone or camera. For each category you select, a list of apps that have permission for it will appear. Slide the app whose permission you want to prohibit to the left.
2. Linking social media
When creating an account, many apps nowadays allow you to log in with a social media account. This allows you to skip a lot of settings and already have an account created within a few clicks. It saves you a lot of time, but also comes with privacy risks.
Socials (Image: Trey Le Blanc)
First of all, apps can potentially share your data with companies you don’t know. You probably remember the Facebook scandal where thousands of personal data were sold to third parties. This goes even further. Apps can copy and store data on different servers. If these servers are hacked, your personal data will be distributed to many more places. Therefore, find out which application has which information about you.
3. Giving access to your contacts
The previous example also applies to your contacts. In fact, giving permission to your contacts list also gives this application access to private data.
Imagine this: you are using an application that a friend of yours is not using. They don’t like the app and don’t want to have anything to do with it. If you link your contacts to this app, you pass on his phone number and email address to this company.
Don’t gamble with the privacy of others. After all, you are not the only one at risk when passing on contact information. Therefore, only give permission to your contact list if there is really no other way.
4. Downloading apps you don’t need
Some apps you just really want to try out, but cost money or are full of ads. Online you can find plenty of free pirated versions for these types of apps. Be very careful with this. Dangerous downloads can seriously damage your smartphone.
If an application sounds too good to be true, it almost always is. It is almost impossible to make expensive apps available in a free version. The illegal app is probably a cover to download malware or a ransomware program on your smartphone.
In addition, you probably have numerous apps on your smartphone that you do nothing with. Think for example of a QR code scanner or flashlight app. Both functions are standard on your smartphone. This causes your storage to be fuller than it should be. This slows down your phone. Also check whether you really need large apps – with a high file size. Large apps can slow down your smartphone considerably.
5. Not paying attention to bad reviews
When installing an app, it’s always important to take a good look at how other people are experiencing the app. Of course, you want to make sure that the app is of high quality. If an application has less than four or five stars on the Appstore or PlayStore, then it is wise to scroll further.
Bad reviews are an important signal when it comes to security. If people say their smartphone became sluggish after installing the app, take this seriously. It could save you a lot of trouble.