Smartphone apps raise privacy concerns

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) Technology makes significant advances almost daily, and experts say almost every Smartphone "app" accesses some form of private information once it's downloaded to the phone.

According to a tech website, $35 billion worth of mobile apps were downloaded and that number is expected to be much bigger for 2012. Before you download nearly every app, you are prompted to accept a set of permissions, and those permissions might be more invasive than many people realize.

"Whenever you go to download any application on your Smartphone, it is very important to always read the reviews and make sure what you're downloading is the legit version of the application," Amanda Poplin with Conxit Technology Group said.

Poplin said once the permissions are accepted, many app's then have access to every piece of data on the Smartphone.

"if you were to download the app that is the malicious form, it has all access to all your personal messages your contacts in your Facebook, you know it can also hack into and it allows them to basically take over the phone, act on your behalf," Poplin said.

Popular apps such as Facebook also force the Smartphone user to accept very similar permissions stating it will access certain data on the phone, but Poplin said the vastly popular apps are not doing it with a malicious intent to do illegal things with a person's information. But, there are apps out there, that are trying to access information to steal identity, amongst many other reasons.

"The bottom line is, just like with your PC, always always always make sure you download it from the proper places. Read the reviews. Make sure that you're looking at the allowances that each third party application wants to," Poplin said.

Poplin said the best way to avoid downloading an app with malicious intent, read the reviews and make sure it's a credible app. If a person is unsure whether the intent is credible, the best bet is to avoid downloading the particular app.

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