Not all apps are innocent programs with your best interests at heart. In fact, many apps can snoop on you, and some could be collecting your personal data right now. Suspicious apps are not so easy to spot, and shady developers have been trying to get you to download them for longer than you might think.
Going On For Years
Back in 2012, a report published by technology security firm Bit9 stated that around 100,000 of the apps available in the Google Play online store could pose security risks to the user. By looking at the reputation of the developer, how the app is categorised, and the permissions it asks for in relation to what the app actually needs, Bit9 deduced that a quarter of the 400,000 apps they surveyed were suspicious.
It’s All in the Terms and Conditions
Protection Against Suspicious Apps
There are a few simple steps you can take to protect yourself against suspicious apps that could harvest your personal data. First of all, you really should read through the terms and conditions (yes, all that annoying small print) before you decide to download them. This especially applies to apps from developers and companies you do not recognise. Second, disable your location services, GPS and Bluetooth when you’re not directly using them, as suspicious apps can use these in the background without you even knowing. Thirdly, go through all the apps you have downloaded and check them out. Look for the developer’s website, check the permissions you have granted the app, and read some reviews of the app. If anything looks suspicious then delete the app.