Apps to make your life easier - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Apps to make your life easier

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YAKIMA, WA - We all have very busy lives; are apps the answer to making them easier? And with hundreds of options, which ones actually help? 

There are as many as 27 apps on any given phone, and with recent worldwide ransom ware attacks, can apps like "Lookout", "Clueful", or "Cerberus" protect the personal information hackers go after?

"Most phones and computers have built into their operating system already a sense of security," said Michael Coffman with ReTech Computer Academy in Yakima. "But these just provide another layer of security."

"Lookout" can locate your phone or remotely erase all the data if it has been stolen. It also prevents other apps from sharing your information, and it's free on Androids and iPhones. 

"They might send you ads every now and then but you never have to subscribe. They do make your phone more secure," Coffman said.

Android-only app "Cerberus" is like "Find My iPhone" on steroids. It also tracks your phone, but it can also remotely take pictures or videos, or wipe your internal and micro SD cards. This app will cost you $4. 

Security apps are not the only popular ones in app stores. Workout apps could help you have a healthier lifestyle, but do they get results?

"I think the apps are tools and realistically the people using them is going to determine how effective they are," said Joel Buffum, certified athletic trainer at Virginia Mason Memorial.

Buffum says smart diet decisions and having a good relationship with food are just as important as being active. With free apps like "Wahoo", "Daily Yoga", and "Fitocracy", accountability is the biggest test. Don't have time to get to the gym? All these apps create different daily workouts.

"Try and get different muscle groups activated, moving, going," Buffum said. "The advantage of that is as you're having different large muscle groups going, it's going to burn more calories."

Coffman at ReTech says that everyone should have an external hard drive and back it up frequently so hackers won't be able to get those files.

And when it comes to exercise, even if you don't have a lot of extra time, Buffum says all it takes is 30 minutes of exercise.