1. Remember: Not all apps are safe.

Just because an app is on an official app store doesn’t mean it is safe. Even apps that don’t contain malware can still be relatively dangerous. Using your phone’s permissions, apps can track your location, read and retain your text messages and emails, and even potentially listen to phone calls. It is important to do some homework before downloading an unfamiliar app.

2. Review what your apps want to look at.

Even familiar apps can collect data that’s not needed for the app to operate. If the app store allows you to view accessibility requirements before downloading the app, it’s best to review it before downloading it. However, if accessibility requirements can only be viewed after the app is downloaded, review those requirements to assess whether or not the information they are accessing is necessary to operate the app, and also assess whether or not you are comfortable with the information being collected.

3. Use a password to lock your device.

Always use a password on your device. When a password is implemented, it’s significantly harder for information to be stolen from a device. It is important to mention that not all passwords are secure (see Tip 4 below).

4. Avoid predictable passwords.

Although “123456” may be an easy password to remember, it’s also easy to guess, even for people who don’t know you. Further, the name of your first pet may be difficult enough for a stranger, but relatively easy for an acquaintance. Even password patterns, as found on Android devices, can be as predictable as alpha/numeric passwords.

5. Beware of public Wi-Fi.

Connecting to public Wi-Fi can expose any information manually entered while connected, including passwords, Social Security numbers, addresses, credit card numbers etc. If you must connect to public Wi-Fi, avoid using your keyboard, as this is how hackers can capture and steal sensitive information.