Mobile Protection Toolbox

Graphic of mobile apps

Mobile Apps

Facts

  • Applications are available for download from a variety of online sources. Commonly referred to by their shortened name, "apps" are programs which can be installed on home computers and mobile devices.
  • Apps are created by developers all over the world for the purpose of making one or more aspects of everyday life easier, quicker and/or more enjoyable for the consumer.
  • Cyber criminals create apps of their own which, if downloaded by a consumer, can install malware onto a device, giving the criminal access to sensitive information such as contact lists, password information, calendars and personal photos.
  • Some malware can even give a cyber criminal the ability to remotely control your mobile device without your knowledge or consent.

Tips

  • Never download an application from the Internet if you don't know or trust the source.
  • Read the description of the application before deciding whether to download it, as well as reviews posted by other consumers who have downloaded the application before you.
  • Avoid downloading an application if the description contains misspellings or poor use of grammar and punctuation.
  • Before loading an app, ensure you have installed security software on your mobile device and that it is kept up-to-date.
  • Be cautious of applications which request access to personal information, especially if it seems suspicious. For example, if a game application requests access to your photo albums and email accounts.
  • If you give permission to an application to send text messages on your behalf, be wary of the possibility of unwanted charges on your phone bill.
  • Beware of free apps that would normally cost a fee to download. This "free" version could have a virus, or may have been created by a criminal who will use the downloaded app to gain access to your device.
  • Make sure you are aware of all fees related to the app. There may be use-based fees for the app that are in addition to the initial fee for downloading it.