Arkansas AG urges caution before downloading apps

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Use caution before you press "Install" to get a new mobile app.

That is the message Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued through his office's website Wednesday.

The news release stated some apps can contain malicious software and could allow someone "improper access to sensitive personal information." McDaniel said smartphone users should be selective about the types of apps they download.

The attorney general listed the following tips to better protect users:

  • Read the fine print. Some apps may access phone and email contact lists, call logs, text messages, calendar entries and Internet histories. If an app doesn't have a privacy policy or contact information or a website for the developer, it may be best not to download the app.
  • Be aware that some "free" apps contain advertising within the app. Others may offer "in-app" purchases or may make available a more advanced version of the app for a cost.
  • Consumers concerned about sharing their location data with advertisers can turn off location services in phone settings.
  • If a device has been infected with malware, consumers should contact customer support for the company that made the device, notify the mobile-phone service carrier and install a trusted security app.
  • Keep apps up to date by installing new versions or upgrades when they become available. These may contain security fixes.
  • Parents should talk to children about rules for using apps and try the app out for themselves before allowing an app to be installed on a child's phone or device.
  • For more information about consumer issues in Arkansas go to this website, or call (800) 482-8982.

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