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Friday, July 15, 2016

A Reminder of What You Should Know Before You or Your Children Download Apps

Our phones contain our entire lives on them these days--our contacts, calendars, emails and plenty of sensitive data. Keeping your information private is more important than ever and loss or theft of your phone aren't the only ways your personal information can fall into the wrong hands. With so many innovative apps out there, at times we all may feel like kids in a candy store when perusing online. But mobile apps that you (or your children) download onto your phone may be accessing more than you may bargain for.

Apps may be able to access your location, emails contact lists, and other sensitive information stored on your device--and you may be giving them permission to do so when you download them. App companies then may in turn sell or share your information without your knowledge or permission.

We urge everyone to look into apps before you choose to download them and invite them into your life. Take a moment to read up on an app's information in the app store, check to see if it has a privacy policy (that discloses how they'll use your data) and see if companies include contact information so you are able to reach them if an issue should arise.

Pass on an app if it requires permission to access an intrusive or unnecessary amount of data. Consider what data an app reasonably needs to access in order to function. If an app is requesting access to your location, emails or to listen in through your microphone when it has nothing to do with the app's functionality, be wary.

Check out these tips from the Better Business Bureau about how to protect your privacy when using apps.