Imagining a life without a smartphone is almost unfathomable. According to reports, the average cell phone user has between 60-90 apps installed on their phone and 85 percent of people prefer to use their mobile phone over a desktop computer. With this comes the need to constantly download apps, files and more.
Make sure you’re downloading in a secure way! Whether you download to your mobile device, desktop or laptop, follow these tips to avoid inviting trouble in the form of viruses, malware, trojans or identity theft.
Always download apps from a trusted app store
such as The Play Store and Apple Store, which vet the apps. Be aware, this is not complete assurance, but these are your best sources for safe apps.
Before downloading an app, check to see how many people have downloaded it already.
If it’s just a few hundred or thousand times, beware. Instead, look for apps with hundreds of thousands or millions of downloads.
If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
Check out the reviews and ratings. If the app description looks off or the app has negative ratings, it’s best to avoid it.
Only download apps from reputable companies that you can research and verify.
You can find more information underneath the name of the app in the app store. When in doubt, visit the company’s website to validate they make the app and are a legitimate company.
When it comes to files, scan each one for viruses before downloading.
Consider running a scan after download, too, just to be safe.
Avoid downloading files with the file extensions .exe or .scr, as these can be more vulnerable.
Cyber criminals are crafty. We don’t want to make things easier for them by opening the doors to our devices and data! Be mindful when you’re downloading on any device to reduce your risk and hopefully stop bad actors in their tracks.
Reviewed July 2023
Written by: Sarah Nicholas
Sarah is the Director of Communications for Serendipity Communications. She lives in Plainwell, Michigan with her husband, daughters and stepson, with twin stepdaughters pursuing their dreams out West. She is passionate about cyber safety education and enjoys ballet dancing, reading, and volunteering in her community.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Ameris Bank is not affiliated with nor endorses any of the companies featured in this article.