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How to protect your phone

Not sure how to protect your privacy on your phone? CBC’s Marketplace recently tested how much personal information we can unknowingly hand over to app companies.

Here are some tips on how to keep your phone safe:

If an app wants to access your location but doesn’t need that information to function, be skeptical.

When an app asks for permissions, it should clearly state what it needs access to and what it hopes to use that information for. So if a crossword app wants access to your call log, it should raise some red flags.

Unless you really know what you’re doing, never install any app that doesn’t come from Google or Apple’s app stores.

As part of the app store review process, official app stores check for potential security or privacy issues, screening out apps that could be malware or try to access user data in a way that violates their terms of service.

Installing apps from other sources will require you to disable security settings that are there to keep you and your data safe.

And when you’re not 

using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, it’s probably a good idea to turn them off.

One reason? Everyone from coffee shops to clothing stores can use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals to track you and your phone, even if you’re not connected to their network.

And what about public Wi-Fi? It’s not always a great idea to use those open wireless networks. They may be free for anyone to use but they can also be abused.

If you do need to connect to a public Wi-Fi network consider using a virtual private network (VPN). It will protect your connection if someone is trying to watch what you’re doing online.

And be careful of strange links. Phishing attacks don’t just target you through email: they can come through text messages and instant messages, too.

In some cases, they can even make the message sound like they are coming from family or friends.

And, lastly, it’s important to make sure your phone’s operating system is up to date, so update your phone regularly.

Software updates plug holes, squash bugs, and keep your phone secure.