In the age of smartphones that we are in, we’re pretty sure that you have done your fair share of downloading apps, be it free or paid ones. Given a choice, it is likely that you would pick the “free” ones because well, it’s free! However, we’re here to tell you that there is no such thing as a free app.
The concealed costs of free apps
To be clear, both paid and free apps come with their fair share of security concerns. However, with free apps, the risks are even greater.
- The costs of text messages – some apps would initiate text messages to premium numbers or would call foreign numbers without your knowledge or consent, which may result in an exorbitant bill
- Information sharing – many apps would penetrate your phone’s system to look for information and monitor your activity online
- Contact sharing – although a part of the information on your phone, you may not know that a lot of apps can gain access to your contact list
- Location sharing – apps may monitor your whereabouts
- Vulnerabilities – apps may have security weaknesses that can possibly put your mobile at great risk
- Malware – some apps hold malware that can pilfer log-in information or worse, personal data that is kept on the phone
Valid apps are just as likely to invade your privacy as the malicious ones, though the risks from malevolent apps are way higher.
Elude unexpected expenses
- When it comes to your phone, you are in control and you have an actual say with regards to what you download. Here are some more tips to sidestep unexpected costs.
- If an application asks you for consent to access geographic features, refuse
- Download apps from official app stores and not from file-sharing sites
- Be aware of the privacy documentation of the app to find out what data it is accessing.
- Don’t unlock or root your device: this just leaves it open to attacks
- Download from dependable publishers with multiple apps with many downloads or high ratings