3 precautions to take in the app store

Before you download, put these practical protection practices in place.

Apps are everywhere. And so are app stores. Whether it’s Google Play or iTunes, Amazon or Samsung, there are so many choices and so much to try. Though app stores make efforts to weed out the bad apps — ones phishing for personal information, installing viruses/malware, or otherwise engaging in criminal behavior — risks may remain. So before you download new apps, consider these 3 precautions:

1. Stick with familiar brands.

Exploring new apps isn’t just a great way to, well, find new apps. It’s also a great way to discover new companies, services, entertainment sources, media, games and the like. But if you haven’t heard of the company listed as the maker of an app, pay extra careful attention.

2. Read the descriptions.

Another thing you can do, whether or not an app’s brand is familiar to you, is to carefully read the app description. If it’s written in broken English or has spelling errors and typos, that’s a major red flag.

3. When in doubt, start at the site.

If you’re not sure whether an app is the real one produced by a brand you’re already familiar with, consider going to that brand’s website first. Often, brands will include buttons for direct links to app store sites leading right to their app’s page. What to do if you’re still in doubt about an app? As with websites, emails and a whole host areas, it’s safest not to chance it and simply go without.