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Smart phone apps can steal personal information


By Cami Mountain - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

UNDATED -- Smart phones like the Android and the IPhone seem to be all the rage. But there's a new warning out there.  The apps you download to your phone could get your personal information stolen.

App's come in all shapes and sizes and users are downloading them at a fast clip.  Earlier this year, Apple announced it had surpassed 10 billion app downloads.  That number is poised to explode now that the company's popular IPhone 4 is available to more consumers.

But for all the fun and games that apps provide, their potential as a real security threat is nothing to laugh at.  Malicious software found on cell phones jumped 46% in 2010.

Dave Marcus with McAfee says, "The first thing people need to do is be aware of the fact that there are fake applications out there, and the potential for abusing the mobile platform exists."

So how can you make sure the app you're downloading is safe?

Rohyt Belani with Intrepidus Group says, "What we would recommend is for users to take a step back for a second, and say what's the intent of this application, what's the purpose of this application?"

Experts recommend paying attention to the permissions requested by an app as well.

Belani adds, "If it's a crossword puzzle, really does it need access to my SMS store?  Or to my contacts database?  Probably not.  And if it's requesting that, probably you shouldn't be downloading this application."

Also, pay attention to user reviews.  In the end, being aware is key to keeping your smart phone safe.

Online Reporter: Cami Mountain

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