Where can I find lists of apps that have been studied for safety and security?

Few apps have been studied for safety and privacy. Because apps change often, it is also hard to know if older studies about privacy are still relevant today. Research suggests that many apps that claim to protect privacy may not offer the full protections promised [1]. This presents a challenge to patients and providers looking to use apps. Some apps, like those offered by the Veterans Administration (VA) offer good privacy protections and suggest the importance of picking apps from trusted sources. In terms of safety, it is also hard to know if an app is truly safe. A late 2019 study showed that popular suicide apps often present incorrect or wrong suicide prevention numbers [2]. Thus actually looking at an app and checking that the content appears safe is still an important step.

 

REFERENCES

  1. Huckvale K, Torous J, Larsen ME. Assessment of the data sharing and privacy practices of smartphone apps for depression and smoking cessation. JAMA network open. 2019 Apr 5;2(4):e192542-.
  2. MMartinengo L, Van Galen L, Lum E, Kowalski M, Subramaniam M, Car J. Suicide prevention and depression apps’ suicide risk assessment and management: a systematic assessment of adherence to clinical guidelines. BMC medicine. 2019 Dec;17(1):1-2.
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