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CONTACT 13: Protect your information when downloading an app

Posted at 4:55 PM, Mar 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-06 19:55:43-05
Apps provide all sorts of useful and entertaining material. But they can also expose your personal information. Contact 13 looks at what you need to know to protect yourself.
Smartphone user Tawnya Ortiz has typical apps you can find on anyone's smartphone. Our personal devices store a massive amount of information about us: calendars with birthdays and family schedules, address books with phone numbers and emails, plus photos of friends and family.
But did you know, you may be allowing perfect strangers to look at it all.
"I don't really want my information out there," says Tawnya.
The problem is, when you download an app, you're typically giving developers access to data on your phone.
"It wants access to your camera. It wants access to your contacts. It wants access to your music," says IT Expert, Curt Miller with Anexeon. So it's important to ask questions.  
"Is this the kind of app that needs access to that?" says Miller.
App developers collect your data for marketing purposes. To protect your personal information; 
#1. Do some research.
"I look at the reviews. But more important, I almost always will click on the web, usually it will say developer website," says Miller.
#2. Read about the access you're giving the developer, before you install the app. If you've already downloaded the app, then review the permission granted under the settings.
#3. Download any future updates.
"Because yeah, they release security fixes, security patches, bug fixes, new features," says Miller.
Tawnya says it's definitely a concern, and that's why she always reads the fine print. 
"Make sure you understand what you're allowing them to do," says Tawnya.
Click here for more helpful tips from the Nevada Attorney General's office, on protecting your private information.