It’s not uncommon for mobile apps to ask for sweeping permissions to access the personal data on your device. It’s good you noticed that. However, apps don’t always need all of that information to function properly. It’s better to provide limited information to trusted apps. Here are a few guidelines to help you decide if you want to share or not.
Question what permissions the app really needs
Apps are types of software that allow users to interact with mobile services such as online banking, news, games or driving directions. If you are using a personal finance app on your mobile device, why would it need access to your personal contacts, text messages or microphone?
Maybe there is a legitimate reason or maybe the developer didn’t carefully consider what specific information the app needs to operate. If it’s the latter, then the developer likely didn’t figure out how to properly secure your personal information. Be careful about what you share.
Only enter necessary information
If your mobile app isn’t going to pull information from your checking account there probably isn’t a need to enter your account number or the name of your financial institution. If the app insists on gathering this information, question why. There could be an underlying motive.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, the developer, the app store, an advertiser, or an ad network, may be collecting and sharing your data with other companies.
Before downloading, consider what you know about the developer and what the app is intended to do. The app stores may include information about the company that developed the app, if the developer provides it. If the developer doesn’t provide contact information, the app may be less than trustworthy and your data could be at risk.
Use apps with good reputations
While there are a number of questionable apps available, there are many more you can trust with good reviews and strong security standards. Financial apps should only be used on encrypted/secured/trusted wireless networks. This way you may feel more comfortable accepting the ‘wi-fi’ permission to securely access and connect all of your accounts.
In case your device is lost or stolen, look for ways to erase your data remotely. For example, enable a strong device passcode. Also make sure the device can be erased automatically if the passcode is entered incorrectly too many times.
Article provided by Local Government Federal Credit Union.
The advice provided is for informational purposes only.