More consumers are relying on the convenience of mobile phone apps to get quick information. Mobile phone apps are software programs that offer ‘information-at-your-fingertips’ and can be accessed directly from a smart phone or other mobile device. The use of phone apps is exploding in popularity and is expected to surpass computers as the information source most often used by consumers. As widely accepted as apps have become, there are important privacy and security risks that every user should know before downloading these products.
Malware and Security Protection
Apps that don’t include privacy policies should alert the user to the possible threat of a malware infection. Malware infections are introduced when the app is downloaded, therefore allowing criminals to retrieve personal information from the user’s phone. Signs of a malware infection include any app that appears on the phone that the user didn’t install. To avoid this risk, users should routinely upgrade their apps. Upgrades include the additional benefit of providing updated security patches that protect the phone from the latest malware. Security apps that detect and remove malware are also available. Mobile phones can also be hacked, and tell-tale signs include email or text messages that the user didn’t write. Consumers should notify either their mobile phone carrier or the manufacturer of the mobile device to resolve a security breach.
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