People tend to have a lot of different applications on their smartphones and computers just to kill time. However, there are a few things to look out for to ensure your safety and security.
What are apps?
Apps (or applications) are programs that can be used on a mobile device, and are often great sources of news, education, lifestyle or entertainment such as games and social networking. They can be downloaded cheaply or even for free on computers, mobile devices and even some TVs.
How can we use apps safely?
- Only download apps from legitimate sources, such as Apple’s app store or the Android marketplace. Apps from these stores have been reviewed to meet the requirements of the operating system and are safer than those downloaded from other sites. Apps downloaded from untrusted sites might be pirated and repackaged to contain malicious code.
- Refer to age ratings when downloading apps for children. They provide a useful guide to whether they may be appropriate for your child.
- Before downloading an app, read user reviews to see if others have identified issues or concerns about the app.
- Some smart phones, computers and other gadgets offer parental controls to restrict the ability for your child to download apps. This may be useful to limit your child’s exposure to inappropriate content.
- Check whether an app requires internet access to run. For example, some games require constant online access and could use up a lot of your mobile phone data.
- It is important to install updates so that the safest and most reliable version of the app is being used. They are intended to improve performance, fix security problems, and provide new functionalities to the app.