There’s no denying iOS and Android phones have become useful tools in people’s day-to-day lives. These compact devices have become more than just accessories and status symbols. Their built-in functionalities together with pre-installed apps can certainly come in handy. The phone locator, for instance, significantly helps parents track their family members in real-time, giving them peace and comfort.
Phone applications, however, must not be taken lightly or trusted completely. This is specifically true for third-party apps that often mask their true intentions with enticing offers or exciting features. Note that most cell phones that are compromised begin with a spyware infection that’s triggered by a malicious app download. Hence, while you seem to enjoy the apps currently installed on your devices, check which ones actually serve you some purpose and which simply bring more harm. Read on and learn which apps to delete, replace, and retain.
8 Apps You Should Delete On Your Phone
Phone applications give life to cell phones. These programs offer features that could be beneficial – from education to business to entertainment. Without such apps, phones would be utilized less, serving basic purposes like text messaging and making phone calls.
As a result, millions of phone applications are offered on official stores like Google Play and App Store, and various other third-party e-markets. Since the demand for phone applications continues to rise, developers constantly enhance and innovate new and unique apps like phone tracking tools and phone monitoring software.
Bear in mind that not every app is beneficial to you. In fact, the apps that “entertain” or “occupy” you the most are the ones detrimental to your phone’s security and your personal health. To help you weigh in which apps to remove and retain on your iOS or Android devices, here are 8 types of apps you must get rid of as soon as possible.
Apps that heavily rely on geographic locations often eat much of your phone’s space since they gather loads of location data to function properly. Not to mention, the security issues of tracking your locations and keeping a record of them. Some apps known for such practices include GasBuddy and Tinder.
Social Media Apps
We understand this is difficult to ask since most of our personal and business routines involve social media. You just have to be thorough and cautious, especially in disclosing information on your social accounts. Most of these apps collect user data. May we not forget about Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal and similar data breaches in the history of social networking. TikTok, for instance, allegedly has excessive access to memory usage, hardware IDs, IP addresses, Wi-Fi access points, and other installed apps on a device.
Social media addiction and misleading trends on these platforms are equally threatening. So, if you know for sure that you don’t have strong self-control or if your kids are too young to grasp the realities of social media, it’s best to uninstall or restrict such apps.
Wallpaper or Flashlight Apps
Some apps are solely created for aesthetics – to give an additional accent to the device or to allow users to personalize their phones. These may appear harmless, especially if they only offer a variety of wallpapers or choices of lights. In reality, they could’ve been designed for more. Most hackers make use of such “harmless” apps to record keystrokes, capture login credentials, or collate valuable information. To name a few apps you must avoid – Contour Level Wallpaper, Super Wallpapers Flashlight, Daily Horoscope Wallpapers, Flashlight for iPhone + iPad, Powerful Flashlight, Anime Live Wallpaper, and Super Bright Flashlight.
Then again, even if these apps are really “harmless”, they take up unnecessary space as they’re offering services that your phone can provide.
Apps meant to host virtual private networks (VPNs) are typically utilized by businesses and individuals who wish to mask their locations. Indeed, utilizing private networks is a wise security measure. Ironically though, there are certain VPN apps like IPVanish VPN and SuperVPN that include critical vulnerabilities that could result in MitM (Man-in-the-Middle) attacks. Plus, to mask your identity, you must first disclose your data to them.
As crazy as it may sound, some apps offer you larger memory storage. These give users the illusion that they increase your RAM space where in fact, all they do is clean your cache to temporarily increase the storage. So, beware of apps like RAM Booster (Memory Cleaner) and 4 GB RAM Memory Booster – AppLock.
Scanners have also become a hit in the market – apps that can quickly scan documents, products, places, QR codes, or any other items. Some of these offer additional features like fun templates and exciting filters to lure more users. Apps like CamScanner and Kaspersky QR Scanner are actually a waste of storage, especially if using newer phones. iPhones running iOS 11 or higher and Android running Android 8 and up have built-in scanners.
Moreover, when you utilize third-party scanner apps, they store all capture documents and files, including sensitive ones, on their databases. Who knows how strong their security is and if they’re, indeed, capable of protecting your data from prying eyes.
Third-Party Web Browsers
As much as possible, stick with your phone’s default browsers. With better safety nets in place, you’ll surely be safer surfing on Google Chrome or Safari. Avoid installing third-party web browsers like UC Browser and Dolphin Browser. Such browsers are designed with “additional features” that are unnecessary and just add to the bloat. Plus, some specialists find inadequate data transmissions on such browsers, risking your privacy and safety.
Malicious software, or malware, could be challenging to locate. Some malware could look like a legitimate app, offering similar enticing features. Malware could be in the form of adware, a virus, spyware, bloatware, and more. Hence, such software could be hard to identify and isolate. Rule of thumb, if the app looks suspicious enough, immediately get rid of it. You could use antivirus software for additional help cleaning up your device. Then again, be careful which antivirus program to trust.
4 Dangers of Cell Phone Apps
Most phone applications have a client-server-based architecture. The client-side would be, from the user’s point of view, the application itself. This is the program downloaded from the app distribution platforms to the user’s device.
In layman’s terms, the server-side of the application would be the back-end control panel of the software. This is where the app developer receives user inputs and transmits processed data. In most cases, this component is a cloud-based application where the server establishes the connection. Through the help of the Internet and a specific application programming interface (API), the server can communicate with the mobile client, synchronizing data and fulfilling commands.
That being said, much could go wrong if a certain connection is weakened or compromised. Not to mention, the possible loopholes and vulnerabilities on their databases or data storage centers. This is why law enforcement agencies remind users to be cautious about the apps they download and warn them about certain types of threats.
In most instances, an app needs to collect user data to function properly or provide better services. Unfortunately, some personal information like date of birth and phone numbers could fall into the hands of malicious users, resulting in hacking and identity theft.
Some apps are specifically designed to monitor your activities and track your GPS locations. It shouldn’t cause any trouble if you’re aware of this, like employee monitoring. However, several misleading apps requesting excessive permissions could easily breach and bypass your privacy.
Mobile apps also serve as gateways for hackers to penetrate your device or network. Such apps typically have hidden malicious software that’s triggered when the app itself is downloaded. This is why, to prevent further damages, most tech specialists remove these apps as soon as detected.
Some developers take advantage of the client-server structure of mobile applications. Some create applications solely to gain remote access on the target phone, eventually taking control over the mobile device and all its applications.
Cell phones are, indeed, one of the greatest technological innovations of all time. How we make use of one, however, could make all the difference. For example, the mobile applications we download could turn our phone use into a disaster in an instant. While such apps do benefit you, take a moment to assess if the advantages could, indeed, outweigh the disadvantages and vice versa.