Get rid of unwanted apps to protect yourself, FTC advises

The FTC says smart phone users should delete any apps they are not using. Provided.

Not using an app? Get rid of it, the Federal Trade Commission advises.

Using your social media account to log into an app or website can be easier than creating a new user name and password. But, after a while, you can collect more apps and become registered on more websites than you really use. This can leave you open to cyberattacks, phishing, and scams, the FTC said.

When you use social media accounts to sign up for apps or websites, you may give the app or website permission to do things on your behalf, like post to your social media page. You’re also possibly saying it’s OK to access information like your name, birthdate, location, contacts, and even your messages. Over time, you may even forget which apps or sites have these permissions.

Here’s how  to help ensure you’re not granting permissions to sites and apps you no longer want to have this access:

  1. Ask yourself: “Why do they need this info?” When signing up for an app or website, pay attention to what permissions it’s asking for. If you’re not comfortable allowing access, select “deny “or “disagree” when you see the message asking for permissions. This typically stops the registration process.
  2. Purge your permissions list. Go to the settings on your social media site and follow the instructions that lead you to the list of sites and apps to which you’re granting access. Follow the instructions that tell you how to remove those apps or sites, click on one at a time and select the option that allows you to remove it.
  3. Make it a habit. Set a reminder on your calendar for at least every few months to check your permissions.

The FTC has more information for you about online security and privacy.

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