What is the cost of free apps? Is your mobile device full of apps? Have you read the permissions? Do you know what information your apps are accessing? There is so much information on our mobile devices that safetey and security must be a number one concern. Free apps often times access your personal information in return for no cost. It is important to be aware of the cost of free apps and be very careful when downloading anything.

The cost of free apps can be access to your information.

Free apps may be accessing your personal information including:

  • Location
  • Address Book
  • Account Information

You may be wondering why apps would need this information. The answer is, they don’t. Accessing this information gives the app creators information about you and they can use this. They may use it only to improve their apps and the user experience, but the information accessed is private. Do you really want your location and address book accessed by someone unknown to you? Many times the cost of free apps may be more than you are willing to share.

How do I know what an app is accessing?

We are all guilty of clicking the I agree button without giving it a second thought. Have you ever read the permissions you are agreeing to? Do you know what you are agreeing to? From this point on read the permissions. This is important because apps can only be downloaded and access your information if you have given permission. If the permissions are not clear to you than contact the company for further clarification or cancel the download. Some of the ways you can find out what apps are accessing are:

  • MyPermissions.orgMyPermissions is an app that you can download that will give you alerts when apps are accessing private information. You can then remove the apps with one click.
  • Settings > Applications > Running Services – By following these steps you can see what is running. You can then decide if you should be concerned and if there is a need to delete any apps.

How can I prevent my information from being shared?

Now that you are aware of the cost of free apps then you may be wondering how you can protect your private information.

  • Mobile Vault App – Mobile Vault is a safe place to store your private data. Mobile Vault allows private chats and protects your texts, contacts, call logs, photos and videos.
  • Monitor Data Usage – By monitoring your data usage you can determine if there is an abnormally high amount of usage. If this is the case, it could indicate unauthorized usage.
  • ProtectMyPrivacy.org – ProtectMyPrivacy tells users what information other apps are trying to access on iOS devices.

Take a look now at the apps currently on your mobile devices and find out what information they are accessing. You may be surprised at the answer and need to delete. Securing your private information is just as important for your mobile device as your home computer.