Apps are everywhere, but as hackers figure out how to target apps, users need to get smarter about security for apps. And developers need protect their apps.

In  “Have an App for That? You May Have a Security Risk,” a recent post on, Carol shares what you need to know to protect yourself. Carol begins:

“2017 could easily be called “The Year of the App.” There seems to be an app for virtually anything. Hungry? Order food to be delivered or make a restaurant reservation. Muscles sore? Book a massage. Lonely? Swipe right. Need some item or some cash? The Mastercard Nearby mobile app helps you quickly find places to use your card or get access to your funds using your Mastercard® or Maestro® debit, credit, or prepaid card or mobile wallet.

Pretty much anything you could possibly want is available to you via an app on your phone. So, the question is as a user of apps, what security and other risks do you need to be aware of?

Free Isn’t Truly Free

You know that saying “There’s no such thing as a free lunch?” Well, if an app is free, the developer is expecting to be paid in another way.

Dragos Alexa is the CEO of Appbracadabra, an app development firm. Alexa cautions, “If a user has a concern about his/her private data, then at some point they need to stop using “free” apps. Nothing is free – either you pay with money and receive the benefit of privacy, or you pay with your data in some way. It sounds cold, and it is, but this is the reality.”

Gated Access

A good rule of thumb is to only download apps from reputable sources. Before an app is added to the Apple Store or Google Play, it is vetted by the company behind the store.

However, this process isn’t an absolute guarantee, and there may be an occasional bad app, but you have a much better expectation of protection and a good user experience when you download from reputable sites.”

You can read the rest of the post here.