Many of us have smartphone, and we don't just use them to talk on the phone. It's estimated that smartphone users spend 86% of their time using apps, but now experts warn some free apps could be putting your personal information in jeopardy.
According to ABC News, many of the most popular free apps, like flashlight apps, children's games and even bible apps are designed to mine and sell your personal information. And they can get away with it, because you actually agree to it when you download the app.
The permissions that you agree to can give access to things like your location and internet searches, so they can sell that information. Several apps can also gain access to your contacts to spam them.
But even worse are apps created by hackers. These apps embed spyware on your phone, with the purpose of stealing critical information like credit card numbers and banking passwords. That spyware can even be used to record conversations.
To protect yourself, experts say you need to read the permissions before downloading unknown apps. And if an app seems like it's asking for more information than you think it needs, you may want to pass. You can also opt for a paid version of an app that requires access to less information. It's also a good idea to delete apps from your phone that you don't use.
The Application Developers Alliance tells ABC News that app developers are doing their best to protect consumers, including added features to protect anonymity and privacy. However, they say ultimately it's up to consumers to protect themselves.