It’s all too easy to fall prey to scams. Although if you’re a savvy internet user, you probably already know which sites to avoid and how to guard your private information online. But you also probably think that there are a few safe spaces where you can put your information without worrying about it, like trusted websites, stores and programs. Take, for example, the Apple App Store.

Woman reading from her tablet in park

It’s definitely a reputable place, and Apple wouldn’t put any misleading information up there. However, it’s suuuuuper important to keep an eye on where you’re clicking in the app store. Although downloading an app on your computer, phone or tablet won’t automatically give you a virus, clicking around on the app once it’s downloaded could lead you to some pretty scary places.

Let’s say you’re looking for an app for something like Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop, or any sort of Google product. These are common enough applications that everybody knows about and, most often, they’re free downloads. (Many will offer in-app purchases, but that’s a completely different thing.) In an investigation by How-to Geek, they found that many of the apps that pop up when you search for something are just total scams meant to make money. They don’t really provide a service. And even scarier, some of these apps can install Malware on your computer once you start clicking around.

So here’s how you can keep yourself safe: Before you download any app, read the reviews. Make sure it’s the right app you’re looking for and people who downloaded it aren’t getting ripped off. Next, check the app developer and make sure it’s an official source, and not some shady developer you’re never heard of. If the reviews, developer and price check out, you’re good to go. Happy downloading!

What are you up to on the app store lately? Let us know @BritandCo!

(Photos via Sean Gallup/Getty)