By Stephen Schenck | March 6, 2013 3:33 PM
When we talk about risky apps, we’re usually doing so in the context of malware. Such malicious programs are one way our data can be compromised, but even apps that are on the up-and-up could still be putting our personal data and privacy at risk. Appthority recently took a look at the fifty most popular free Android and iOS apps to see just how safe they might be, and Android seems to be the platform that’s putting its users at less of a risk.
For this comparison, the study looked at behaviors like the use of encryption when connecting with servers, requesting access to your contacts and calendar, gathering location data, and being a member of centralized ad networks. None of these things necessarily mean that anything bad is going to happen to your data, but they can all be seen as risk factors that might make it easier for someone acting in bad faith to pry into your life.
All told, 79% of the apps tested fell into categories where there was a potential for risk. As you can see in the chart above, iOS apps were generally worse across most categories, sometimes significantly so.
None of this means you should stop using apps, or start becoming super paranoid about which permissions you grant, but it might be worth thinking about just whose software you want to allow on your phone.