These days, there’s an app for everything, from texting to travel, to counting the steps you take. It’s hard to claim these apps are anything short of revolutionary in their convenience and advancement of our lifestyles.

So, it probably should not be shocking that this has led to an unfortunate side effect: More bad guys are trying to take advantage of our “app-etite.” They are creating bad apps to steal passwords, get your personal information and potentially take over your smartphone.

On the surface, these apps look and function the way you expect, texting or counting your steps. However, once installed, they start doing their dirty work behind the scenes.

Here are a few tips to help you:

Do not install apps from unknown sources.

The Apple and Google play stores regularly scan apps to remove any bad ones they find. Your phone may also have a setting to prevent installation of apps from ‘unknown sources.’ Keep it set that way for better protection.

Review the author of the app.

Underneath the app title, you’ll see the developer’s name. For example, official AT&T apps are made by “AT&T Services, Inc.” If the name of the developer is vague or just doesn’t look right, you may want to avoid it.

When you receive a software or app update notification, double check it.

Scammers may use fake notifications or app messages to prompt you to click on a link which may install malware. Enable ‘auto updates’ for your apps and do not click on any links that appear in messages.

If you really want to know, check out the developer online to see if there are legitimate updates available.

Download a security protection app.

Install a security protection app, such as AT&T Mobile Security, that provides a variety of features to help protect your phone and warn you if a potential threat is found.

And remember, if in doubt, do not install the app!