How do I know if an app is safe?

Author's Note

I was late to the game in terms of smartphones, so when I finally got one I felt a bit overwhelmed when it came to installing apps. Recommendations from friends helped, and the first thing I did was install some highly touted security software. Free apps are always my favorites, but I've come across more than one that sounds good in terms of what it can do, but it had horrible reviews with complaints about the permissions. Luckily I've never gotten burnt by a malicious app, but I know people who have. I'd like to think that most app developers are just trying to make a good product and make money, but as with most things there are always a few bad eggs.

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