When I began using a smartphone, I didn’t understand what mobile apps were, let alone the dangers that some of these social media apps could cause. This article will help you to understand some things to consider when using smartphone mobile apps.
Today, we depend on our smartphones like we do our wallets and/or purses. They have become so ingrained in our lives, some of us just cannot imagine being without them.
Smartphone mobile apps have made it very easy to get just about anything we want.
We can also get it just about anytime we want – a ride, a pizza, etc.
On the other hand, many of us do not think about the risks of using some of these mobile apps. We seem to be more caught up in the mindset of convenience and self-gratification. Here are some things to consider when using smartphone mobile apps:
Trusting Complete Strangers
This is the one that troubles me the most. These apps are innovative and trendy along with having the ability to solve almost any problem in a relatively short amount of time. But, do we know who we are contacting – most likely not.
I know when I was growing up, just talking to strangers was not aloud. My parents were very conscious about providing me with the skills to avoid danger and this was one of them.
There is a lot of news and publicity out now about the different ways you can be deceived when dealing with people and things online. The reporting of social media crimes is definitely helping to make us more aware of the criminals and how they are able to trick us into buying into whatever they are doing.
Research Background Checks
This one is extremely important in that we really do not know who we are dealing with when we have not met or talked with a potential person or business face to face. This is exactly what the criminals count on – and that is the fact that you are going to trust the information that they are putting out there without checking sources.
Many businesses only perform the very minimum of background checks. This just tells them that on the surface they seem like a person you would want to do business with.
But, my suggestion is that you take the background check one step further. Pay a little bit of money to find out anything and everything you can about the person or business.
In doing so, you are also buying piece of mind and safety. Also, you could potentially save yourself from losing money if you enter into business with someone who is not on the up-and-up. This is the big one today because it seems some people try to “get rich quick” any way they can.
Read Over User Reviews
I have found this to be something I just automatically do when I am considering the use of a new smartphone mobile app. I like to see how many reviews an app has received and the quality of those reviews.
There have been times when I have read reviews and find that someone has responded with only a couple of words – like “awful” or “don’t waste your time,” etc. This kind of short review is very telling. This signals that the person is not happy with their experience and wanted to leave a review, but could only muster up a couple of words.
Some of the more useful reviews will come as a paragraph or so. The person who leaves this type of review finds the app so useful that they have no problem explaining all of the things that they found were helpful to them.
The more information in a review, the better off you will be. A genuine review is explanatory and will usually describe how some of the features of the app actually worked for the user.
This is very beneficial because it reveals more information about the app and better assists you in formulating a decision regarding the usability of it for your needs.
Let Someone Know Where You Are
This is extremely important no matter who you are. If you are 13, or if you are 67 years of age, safety and danger apply to everyone. Danger does not discriminate. The act of meeting someone that you have never met before should put anyone on alert.
If anything is going to go wrong, this is when and where it will go wrong. This is when the deceitful perpetrator has you in their physical custody and will do with you what they want to.
I was watching TV the other evening and a snippet came over the air about starting up what some call “internet meetups.” These are actually a physical location in your town or city where there is undercover security or policemen who actually man these areas and watch for one-on-one engagements and/or transactions with others.
Personally, I believe this is an awesome idea. I do realize that it takes manpower to do this, but maybe it could be done in areas where the “security officers” or “policemen” are already surveilling. If you are doing business on the up-and-up, then you won’t mind transacting in front of these officers – at least for safety sake.
Always Guard Your Smartphone Data
I found a little tidbit of information that I did not realize about photos. According to K2 Intelligence, using the same photograph on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) and on mobile apps (such as a photo retouch app, etc.) allows a stranger to do a reverse-image search that will reveal your real name and workplace.
Additionally, it is always good to place private things, or photos that you want to forward selectively to others, in the “cloud.” There are so many different cloud apps out there, but just make sure you can “double authenticate” your account.
This means that you are using twice the security instead of a single password or passcode. This could be in the form of either a fingerprint and a password, or a fingerprint and a pin number, etc. You get the idea, right?
Always research any software application that you are going to put sensitive or confidential information in because it is just that – sensitive (private). You definitely would not want information that you would like to share with only one person to be seen all over social media so everyone can see it.
Limit Non Face-To-Face Conversation on Smartphones
With this one, it is crucial that you reveal only the most minimal of information. Thus, be careful how much you say and exactly what you reveal. The more you are going to talk, the more you are going to reveal. This is just human nature.
For example, a Uber driver could overhear you talking to someone about where you are going and when you will be back. Or, you may talk to someone in setting up a reservation in the Uber driver’s earshot, thus allowing them to overhear you reciting personal information.
In addition, a delivery person could overhear you on the phone if you answer the door with your smartphone in your hand. Now, that delivery person is within earshot of any personal information you may recite while the delivery is made. For example, you could be speaking to someone about you being alone until your roommate comes back from vacation in a week, etc.
Utilize Gut Instinct and Intuition
Some of us have one or the other of these, and some of us have none of these. That’s just our chemical makeup and why we are not all alike. Thank goodness!!
Anyway, as we go through new experiences in life, we formulate good, bad, or indifferent feelings about certain things that the next person may feel. This is called our “gut instinct” or “intuition.”
For the sake of brevity, they are very similar, but they are different. I have heard that these traits can be inherited or they cannot be inherited – it’s just a hit or miss.
I was lucky enough to inherit the “intuition,” but did not realize it until I was in my 20’s. Personally, I perceive this as a “sixth sense.” It almost feels magical and mysterious in some ways.
It comes over me like a voice speaking to me in my head. It will say to me such things as “pay attention to that guy’s eyes, he’s lying to you because he is not looking directly at you.”
Or, it could come in the wave of a feeling of uneasiness. This is a feeling that, given a certain situation, the facts just don’t make sense, or the circumstances just don’t add up.
Whatever it may be, just pay attention to what your gut or your “little voice” is saying to you. Once you start paying attention to it, you will be able to further develop it and fine tune it. It does get better with practice.
Through the years, I have done this and it has improved my ability to predict an appropriate reaction or outcome in many cases. So, let’s try to be more careful and think about the things to consider when using smartphone mobile apps.