Many educational apps help you organize your preparation for exams, homework or improve your understanding of various topics. You can install such software on your computer, laptop, or mobile devices.
These apps are very convenient for most students and teachers. But there is one important point about security. What if the app could be potentially dangerous? Let’s check out the best tips to ensure educational apps are safe.
Install Apps From Recognized App Stores
Even if the app’s ads seem very attractive to you, you should only download it from trusted sources. Ideally, you should use the Google Play or App Store. Then the level of risk will be minimal. Many websites publish educational applications that may contain malicious code, rootkits, or malware.
This does not mean that you should ignore all third party sources. If your teacher or educational institution recommends an educational portal, then that’s fine. The main thing is not to download anything from suspicious sites and not to click on banners. After all, then you can get not only an application but a whole set of malicious code.
Check Content Ratings
Rating and user reviews are very important for finding truly safe apps. If you see suspiciously clichéd positive comments from users, then this is a reason to be wary. A lot of negative reviews are a reason to ignore the software product and find alternative options.
The ranking is very important because the user experience is the first thing you need to pay attention to. This may make it easier for you to find alternative solutions. You should only use third-party sources if your instructor recommends a website or third-party app store.
Use Paid Apps
Many freemium apps have too many banner ads and even links to third-party internet resources. This is not always safe. If you can find a paid alternative, then it might make sense. The point is that paid educational products do not contain third-party links or advertisements. By purchasing any such application, you get a greater level of security.
But do not rush to spend all your pocket money on this. You should review all of the options your instructor has suggested. Otherwise, you will definitely ask yourself the question, “Who can pay for my essay?” It might be worth the wait.
Be Aware of Permissions
As a rule, applications require certain permissions to work properly. For example, to work with photos, you need to allow access to the camera or gallery. Applications can also request access to the microphone, file system, and many other functions. But you should clearly understand that such permissions are needed only for profile functions.
If the application works as an organizer for your schedule, it does not need access to your contacts and SMS messages. This is true for any other permission as well. And you should never disclose your banking details as it goes against Apple and Google policies.
Be Aware of Costs, and In-App Purchases
Some applications can automatically send data to servers. This applies to both the history of your activity and the model of using software products. Very often, mobile traffic is used for this. This can be quite expensive, depending on your carrier’s tariffs.
Another undesirable moment is in-app purchases. Some educational apps help you acquire additional features and functionality. But sometimes the importance of purchases may not be obvious, and funds may be charged without warning if you have set up automatic transactions. Beware of these moments.
Use a Reliable Security Solution
Desktop and mobile education apps can be a source of additional danger. The fact is that viruses or third-party scripts can transfer third-party data without hindrance. Antivirus or antimalware products help to identify such suspicious processes. Sometimes even downloading a free antivirus is enough to increase your security level.
Delete Apps You Don’t Use
If the app is not designed to help you learn all the time, then you can uninstall it. First, it will save space on your hard drive. You will also eliminate the possibility of data leakage. Even unused apps are constantly transmitting data. This not only slows down the speed of your device but also negatively affects your network security.
Keep Software Up to Date
There is nothing worse than an outdated version of the educational app. In addition to potential errors and malfunctions, you may experience increased battery drain and safety issues. There are many stories on the web about how users of outdated versions of applications faced data breaches. That is why you should control this process.
All of these tips are relevant for any application. You should stick to them, even if some of the options seem unclear. Once you organize your actions and exclude third-party sources, you can use educational applications without risking data security and safety.