Understand the preferences of the apps you download

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by Jesse Jones / KING 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @getjesse

KING5.com

Posted on June 2, 2014 at 11:22 PM

Caryn Bailey’s has downloaded dozens of apps on her cell phone. Security has never been a concern… until recently.

“Twitter sent me a message and told me that one of the apps that is connected to Twitter was actually hacked, and so somebody had compromised my password. So I had to reset my password.  It was a little bit unnerving,” said Baily.

According to experts, the average smartphone user has 32 apps on their device.  Each one of those downloads comes with a list of permissions.

If you’re not paying attention, they could be accessing personal information like your contact list, location or social media accounts.

“With some apps it’s the developers that have access to this information, and with other apps they actually have agreements with third parties, whether data brokers or advertising companies where they send this information to them,” explained Adi Kamdar with Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Kamdar said users should regularly check permissions on apps and limit the amount of information they can access.  Also, delete the apps you don’t use.

“Go through your apps maybe once a month or so and figure out, do I still need this?  The apps that you don’t use anymore may still be collecting information about you whether you know it or not.  Sometimes these apps run in the background,” said Kamdar.

Finally – since most of your personal information is probably saved on your device - change your passwords regularly.  If you’ve got a Windows or Android device - download a virus program. 

 

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