This post originally appeared in Equipment Connection, the Hartford Steam Boiler and Inspection Company’s (HSB) blog. It was authored by Monique Ferrarro, Cyber Practice Counsel at HSB.
More people today access the Internet from smartphones and tablets than from desktops or laptops, and many times this use is through downloaded applications, better known as “apps.” U.S. consumers spend five hours per day on mobile devices and 85% of that time is spent on apps. Because we spend so much time using mobile apps, we need to be aware of the associated security and privacy issues. Apps can track your internet browsing and location, and could even steal personal and financial information! Here are four tips for choosing and using apps safely:
- Only download apps that have been reviewed for safety from a trusted app store. Even those downloaded from app stores can have security flaws or expose your data. It is essential to review the rating and research the app before you download it.
- Review app privacy settings and customize them for your use. Set privacy to the highest level that will allow you to use the features you want, without sharing more of your personal or financial information than you would like.
- Delete apps you no longer use. The fewer you have, the lower the risk of compromising your device or data.
- Update your apps. Updates are released either to fix vulnerabilities or to enhance your experience.
If, like most of us, you spend a lot of time on your mobile device and regularly use apps, employ the tips provided here to help protect your device and information.