6 tips to know if an app is safe

Canada By Mitchell Steiman Feb 8, 2022

Apps are here to bring us more practicality and agility for our everyday life. However, it’s important to be careful when downloading them on your mobile device, since even with security tools, some apps are malicious and may contain viruses or malware. To avoid that kind of inconvenience, Western Union Canada brings you this article with tips to tell if an app is safe. Check it out here!


How to know if an app is safe? 6 tips to learn

1 – Review the ratings and comments left by users

Normally, well-known apps have ratings, customer reviews and comments. Before downloading it, you may have an idea whether the software is good and reliable based on those experiences. Choose well-rated developer apps with positive comments.

2 – Download apps in official stores

All devices come preloaded with apps, so when adding additional ones it’s important that you download the apps in official stores (such as Google Play for Android and Apple App Store for iOS), as most well-known platforms have systems in place to evaluate apps before they are published.

However, if you choose an unofficial store, you will be at serious risk of downloading apps modified by criminals, as rules are more flexible.  There are legitimate third party platforms not controlled by a mobile provider, such as the Amazon App Store, just be extra cautious downloading from other uncertified stores.

3 – Check the updates

Check when the app was last updated by its developer, because if it is out of date, it may be more susceptible to malware or security issues. Also, the app may be incompatible with newer devices and not provide support in case of problems. On the contrary, apps that are updated on a regular basis usually show users the latest updates in new versions.

4 – Prefer recommended apps

Another tip that helps to tell if an app is safe is choosing the ones recommended by the official store. These apps are usually more reliable and receive the “Editor’s Choice” seal. You can access the app suggestions section on Google Play store home screen. For App Store, you just need to go to “Today” section to check the highlights.

5 – Pay attention to the permissions the app requests

The permissions requested by the apps must make sense, that is, they must be compatible with their functionality; for example, if a photo editing app is requesting permission to access your phonebook or microphone, be suspicious. If in doubt, do not download the app or uninstall it.

6 – Make sure you have an antivirus installed on your phone

Having an antivirus or security software installed on your device will help you know if an app is safe as it identifies and eliminates potential threats. This protection is valid especially for Android, as they act directly on the operating system. On iPhone, an antivirus analyzes suspicious text messages containing potentially dangerous links only.


These are some tips that reduce the chances of traps in the digital world. Putting them in practice makes it easier to find out if an app is safe and improves security for your device and personal information. Another reliable tip? If you need to send money abroad, download the Western Union Canada app and make an international transfer completely online in just a few minutes.

Download the app and access all our services. Enjoy!

Send money online with the Western Union® mobile app

Download the app