As the smartphone market matures, we’ve all come to depend on apps that make our lives easier and more fun. We have instant access to news, weather, shopping, games, and social networks.
With new apps appearing all the time, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment, and download something offered to us online. But it’s important to be aware of where the app comes from, and whether it is a trusted source. Some apps can contain malware, spyware, or vulnerabilities that can compromise our privacy or damage our devices.
Here are five ways to be safer when downloading and using apps on your device:
- Update your operating system and apps: Keeping your software up-to-date will help protect you from the latest security threats
- Check the source: Go through your operating system’s official app store if possible, as the apps have had to meet certain standards
- Read the reviews: Most app stores have user ratings and reviews about user experience or technical issues
- Delete old apps you don’t use: This saves memory space and prevents issues with unsupported software
It also helps to be aware of the law. Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) prohibits the installation of software without consent, including apps on phones. It also requires software developers and distributors to clearly identify themselves and describe the program. If the software collects personal information or performs other functions listed in CASL, they are required to describe those functions in a form separate from the license agreement.