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Security & privacy

10 apps you should remove from your phone right now

There are plenty of things to worry about in life, but dangerous apps on your mobile device shouldn’t be one of them. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, and there will always be some questionable digital content.

Google and Apple take some steps to mitigate the risks from malicious apps making it onto your phone. But as we have pointed out on several occasions, some will slip through the safety check net.

Ensure that you don’t fall victim to scams or unknowingly give out your personal information to cybercriminals. Here are 10 apps that you should immediately remove from your gadget if you have them installed.

1. Memory boost apps

Apps that claim to boost your phone’s memory and make it faster aren’t being completely truthful. You don’t need an app to clear your phone’s cookies, as you can do that yourself.

For Android devices:

  • Open the Chrome app on your Android phone or tablet. Tap More, which is right of the address bar.
  • Click Settings and tap Privacy and Security.
  • Next, hit Clear browsing data.
  • Select Cookies and site data. You can also choose the time range to narrow down which cookies you want to delete. (For example, you can hit All time or Last hour.)
  • Select Clear data.

For iPhone:

  • To clear your history and cookies, go to Settings > Safari, and tap Clear History and Website Data. Clearing your history, cookies, and browsing data from Safari won’t change your AutoFill information.
  • To clear your cookies and keep your history, go to Settings > Safari > Advanced > Website Data, then tap Remove All Website Data.

2. GasBuddy

GasBuddy is a popular app to track gas prices in real-time. While that seems like a good idea, the app needs to know where you are. This is done through location tracking, and using the app long enough builds up a profile of your driving habits. That can be dangerous, as a breach can leak where you live and roughly when you get home from work. To increase privacy, remove GasBuddy now.

RELATED: Check your phone now to see all the apps collecting your heart rate and other health stats

3. Voila or other face scanner apps

At face value, whimsical apps that transform your appearance into Disney characters or cute creatures seem fun. But once you have made a cartoon version of yourself, delete the app. There is no reason why an app with access to your camera and microphone should sit dormant on your device.

4. Screenshot or screen capture apps

If you have ever downloaded a screenshot app, you probably don’t know that your phone can do that automatically. There is no need for a screen capture app — especially if it has access to your camera roll and the ability to read and modify images. How sure can you be that your screenshots aren’t uploaded to an unknown server?

5. Wallpaper apps

One of the most common causes of malware on mobile devices comes from wallpaper apps. In 2018 it was found that such an application infected over 200,000 Android users. This even prompted Google to step in and launch its own investigation. If you really want that amazing picture as your wallpaper, take a screenshot of it.

6. Bible app on iOS

Apps need access to various functions to work properly, but some seem to overshoot their hand a bit. The app called Bible on Apple’s App Store is one such example. Other than keeping tabs on your search history, it also needs access to your financial information.

7. Solitaire and other card games

An example of a dangerous game app is the card game Fairway Solitaire. It’s a golf take on the classic Solitaire, but it does have some questionable privilege rights.

The data it uses to track you includes your location, contact info, purchases, and personal identifiers. Not good.

RELATED: 21 game and puzzle apps infected with malware – check the list

8. Free VPN apps

It’s always a good idea to use a VPN. But never trust free versions. As the saying goes, if it’s free, you’re the product! A free VPN will most likely sell your information to third-party advertisers, or worse.

That’s why you need to stick with the VPN that Kim uses and trusts our sponsor ExpressVPN

Get 3 months free when you sign up for one year at ExpressVPN.com/Kim.

9. Groupon

Everybody loves a good deal or an unbelievable discount. But is it worth all your personal information? The Groupon app captures your purchases, location, user content and browser history.

It also takes note of your financial information, contact info and search history. If a data breach occurs, that is a lot of identifiable information that can be sold on the Dark Web.

10. The Coupons App

Fake reviews are a real problem. The Coupons App has once again proven why you must read deeper than just the first few reviews. It has a rating of 4.1 on the App Store, but many users claim the app borderline forced them to rate it high.

“I am only rating this highly so people can see it. Idk if I have the wrong app or just that the hype is bogus. Honestly, I am seriously considering the possibility that all the reviews for this app praising it are just multiple accounts made by one person who most likely works with or is the person who made the app. This was a great waste of my time,” posted one user.

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