Read how you can have fun with the everyday digital helpers – and be safe on the road. Do you suddenly need a parking disc? Would you like to meditate or quickly find out which exotic plant is spreading in your front yard? No problem! There is now a suitable app for every situation in life. Pretty practical! But what about app security?
For Your Safety: Use Apps, But With Caution
Statistics show that in the first quarter of 2021, there were around 3.48 million digital applications in the Google Play Store alone. There were about 2.23 million apps in Apple’s App Store. About 461,000 apps were available in the Amazon App Store. And all these apps are also actively used: In 2021, for example, an estimated 111.3 billion applications were downloaded from the Google Play Store, as surveys show. Diversity has its price: among all the many apps, there is also a lot of fraud: operators who are after your user data or want to bring you malware, viruses, or financial losses. We have summarized the most significant risks relating to data protection and smartphones and tips for your safety.
Security For Your Apps – Risks At A Glance
Cybercriminals like to try to trick you using phishing apps. These apps are in the usual stores and look deceptively real and severe. However, if you install them, malware gets onto your device, which can steal your account details, take screenshots, or steal bank login details. To protect yourself from phishing apps, …
- Switch off Bluetooth when you don’t require it. This makes it harder for hackers to access your device.
- Update your apps and the operating system regularly.
- Set up a third-party lock to avoid hidden subscriptions.
- Do not open any emails or text messages that seem suspicious to you. Never give out your sensitive information.
- Introduce an antivirus program on the cell phone.
At first glance, app stores seem like a free wonderland. It is often not immediately apparent what the costs are behind the applications – and the essential function of many apps is free of charge. But as soon as it comes to game progress, freedom from advertising, or additional features, you must dig into your wallet. In-App Purchases is the name for it. In-app purchases are made quickly – sometimes even without you wanting to. You can disable or limit in-app purchases to protect yourself from cost traps. The consumer advice center explains how this works . But the app stores have also become active here and make the apps that allow in-app purchases known before they are downloaded in the store.
Apps keep popping up in app stores, and when you install them, you suddenly and unintentionally take out a subscription – and then, in the worst case, have to pay for months. This scam is also called fleece are. Consumers should be cautious with buttons such as “Try for free” or “Start for free.” After the free test subscription, a binding and, above all, expensive subscription often follows seamlessly. Some scam apps advertise the cost but make it difficult to read – for example, with a minimal font size or a light gray font on a white background. So-called spam subscriptions are also popular. Users register once for an app,
Apps can be infected with malicious software, also known as malware. Once installed on the smartphone, it can steal personal data or take out paid subscriptions.
WAP Billing As A Risk For App Security
WAP billing ( abbreviation for Wireless Application Protocol) makes paying for electronic products such as games more accessible using one’s cell phone number. For example, if you buy a game in the App Store, you will be redirected to a WAP page and have to confirm the payment there. The money will then be deducted from your account via your mobile phone bill. WAP billing is a great and uncomplicated process – but cybercriminals also use it for fraud. Due to the speed of the payment process, subscriptions are often taken out by mistake. WAP billing traps are prevalent in ad-supported apps. Keep the ad banners from tempting you to click here.
Data Protection For Smartphones: Tips For Your Security
Apps make our lives a lot easier. If you take care of your data, you can benefit from it with a good feeling. With our tips, you create security for yourself and your apps:
- Only install apps you need – and delete unused apps. Because: All software contains security gaps. You minimize the risk of deleting new apps. Alternatively, to be on the safe side, you can move the apps that you want to use again later to the cloud. This also relieves the memory of your smartphone. Important to know: If you only move the app, your personal information, data and documents will not be deleted.
- For your security: You should only install apps from trustworthy sources. These are primarily the manufacturer’s app stores and markets preset in the smartphone.
- Please look closely at what features the app wants to access and what permissions it asks you for. Be skeptical about functions that have nothing to do with the actual application. Read here which permissions make sense.
- To be safe, update your apps and operating system regularly. It is best not to automatically update apps but instead carry out the updates manually. This gives you a chance to have your rights displayed again.
- Research the app before installing it. Internet research is usually enough, and you will find reviews from other users. You can also read the opinions of others in the app stores.
- Always look twice: Popular apps, in particular, like to be “copied.” The counterfeits tempt you to install them at a lower price. However, anyone who falls for such plagiarism can download malware onto their cell phone or fall into nasty subscription traps.
App Permissions: Here’s What To Look Out For
Many apps require specific permissions – for example, access to your contacts, camera, microphone, or phone location. This is only sometimes necessary – and only occasionally serious. For more security with apps, check the required permissions carefully, change them afterward or withdraw them again.
An example: You download a flashlight app – it requires access to your location. Why? It will help if you ask yourself this question critically. Suppose there is no plausible answer, hands off the app. In addition, at least with the Android operating system, you cannot confirm or deselect individual permissions for the apps. This is not possible with other methods such as Apple iOS or Windows. Android knows around 160 permissions, divided into groups and security levels by Google. Google differentiates between the following four classes:
- Signature Or System
The levels “Normal” and “Dangerous” are essential. With the “Dangerous” security level, it is possible that the function can be misused with the respective authorization. In the “Normal” category, you are usually on the safe side. Which app belongs to which tier is listed in the various app stores?
Uninstall Apps – How It Works
For security reasons, you should always uninstall unused apps from your phone.
Do You Use Android? Then Proceed As Follows:
- Open the Google Play Store app.
- Tap the profile icon in the top right.
- Then tap on “Manage apps and device,” then on “Manage.”
- Tap on the relevant app that you want to delete.
- Tap on “Uninstall.”
Alternatively, you can also long-tap on the already installed app on your home screen and then use “App Info” to uninstall it.
Do You Use Apple? Then Proceed As Follows:
- Tap and hold the respective app icon on your phone.
- It will say “Remove app” and then “Delete.”
Conclusion: Security For Apps Is A Priority
Apps make our lives easier – many are practical, helpful, or fun. It is essential to maintain sight of data protection on smartphones. There are plenty of tips – if you take them to heart, you’re safe!