Tech expert discusses which ‘free’ apps to avoid

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DENVER (KDVR) — More people are working remotely, enjoying some extra downtime and downloading new apps. But security experts warn against sharing too much personal information.  

While there are plenty of safe mainstream apps to enjoy on your phone, others in the marketplace can be a front for hackers. Internet security expert Donald McLaughlin of CP Cyber tells FOX31, be careful of what you click on, especially when an app is free.

“It’s really not free. They’re using your data and you’re agreeing to it when you sign up. It may be in fine print, it may be hard to understand, but you are agreeing to it and they sell your data,” he said.

Your information can be used to allow scam artists to send texts or make offers that actually sign you up for recurring payments you never wanted to make. 

McLaughlin says it’s a good idea to always check your receipts for unauthorized charges.

While many mainstream apps require you to grant permission to access photos or documents, there’s a telltale sign you’re dealing with a shady operation. McLaughlin explains in many cases, “something says, ‘I’m requesting access to photos’ but the app has nothing to do with photos.”

Social media accounts can be targeted as well.  

To keep your information safe, stick with trusted apps with positive ratings and never click on links or texts from sources with which you are unfamiliar.

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