Are Mobile Apps Safe?
Mobile apps have become a necessity for many of us, but how do users know if they are secure?
One of the biggest concerns currently is the in the permissions that mobile apps have, and what they might be doing with users’ personal information. For example: it is great to have an app that organizes all your passwords, but what does it do with that information? Some of these apps will access user’s info such as contacts or the users phone number, and leak that info back to the creator of the free app.
Recently, a permission vulnerability was patched in the Android 2.2 release, but other vulnerabilities exist and it is difficult for the mobile operating system vendors to guarantee that they can safeguard users data with the flood of third-party apps being developed daily.
The best way to protect yourself –and your digital identity, from nefarious apps is to do your research before you install them. Check the web for reviews and any security vulnerability information. If the app is from a trusted source, you are probably good to go—if not, you will want to do your due-diligence before exposing yourself for a “cool game” or a “neat app” meant to keep you busy on the train. Another tip is to not use your iTunes (or other app download venue) username and password anywhere else-such as your bank account! Do not use the same passwords for secure information as you do for the quickie-gotta-have-it squeeze site or shopping site. In fact, always check your bills & account statement and make sure if a fraudulent charge is made, that you are able to address it immediately.
Bottom line – there is a serious threat, security, viruses, and other issues with your mobile smart phone, but just as the technology is being developed to take advantage of you—the technology is being developed to protect you as well. Be vigilant, be cautious and if an app is too good to be true, think carefully before downloading it!