Smartphones have evolved over the years. It’s no longer used for simply sending messages and taking in calls. The applications that can be downloaded and installed to a smartphone let it do so much more. It can expand your reach beyond people you personally interact with through social media applications. It can serve as an audio recording device, and you can record and send voice messages as well.
There is no longer a need to go to a bank to deposit or withdraw funds. Plus, there are now applications that take care of your banking needs. Need to order online? No problem. You can connect your credit card info or PayPal account, and you’re good to go. Having a smartphone is not just an inconsequential accessory. On the contrary, it has become a necessity.
Because of the amount of data it can store, along with the technical and aesthetic developments we have seen, is the apprehension on security. If the phone gets stolen or lost, there is the possibility of other people gaining access to important information like your name, credit card info, address, etc.
Moreover, even without experiencing any of that, there is still the possibility of your phone or application getting hacked. It doesn’t matter whether you are using an iPhone or an Android device. Both are susceptible to attacks. More importantly, identity theft is not an issue to be taken lightly.
Fortunately, some steps could be taken to keep you protected. Here are some tips we have collated for you to keep your mobile applications secure:
There are various options to lock a phone. You can set a pin code, pattern lock, or even a sim card lock. The pin code and pattern lock hinder anyone from accessing your device from the get-go. However, if you don’t clean your phone regularly, those who intend to steal information can easily observe patterns or traces of fingerprints on your phone.
Once they’ve guessed the code, they can easily access the contents of your device. Thus, it is best to expand your approach. Use a combination of tactics we will list here to protect your mobile application data.
Applications can contain malware. Malware can steal your information without your knowledge. According to McAfee researchers, malware can hide in fake apps and serve as the backend entry for hackers to steal your information.
Androids are more susceptible to this. Anyone who can develop Android applications can post these tools on the website and attract people to download them. Be wary of unknown publishers. Do a little background check and find out how many times the application was downloaded. Read the reviews and comments.
Do a quick search on the publisher name. You may also check on other applications they’ve developed and review the feedback from its users. If the positive outweighs the negative feedback, then it’s likely a valid app or publisher. To be safe, make it a habit to read the application requirements before installing any application.
Watch out for news and updates you would see on the net. Even the most popular apps can be vulnerable too. In 2016, Evernote and Line were part of the blacklisted consumer apps. Dropbox, Facebook, Angry Birds, Skype, and Google Drive were other applications that were blacklisted too. Applications you regularly use are more likely to be targeted.
Voice technology is amazing. Even your phone can act as an audio recording device. Notice that when you install Facebook, it requests access to your phone’s mic? It needs access so that when you do live videos it can record both video and audio. Some people are wary of this though.
What does Facebook do with this access? If you are one of those folks wondering if there is more than what they claim to have access on, you can easily turn this feature off. Android users can access Settings, then Applications > Applications Manager > Facebook > then turn off the mic. You can turn this back on if you need to record videos or send voice messages. You have control on when to turn it on or off.
When you are accessing the internet from a public WI-FI, experts suggest using a VPN or a virtual private network to keep you protected. A virtual private network (VPN) allows you to access websites with the same security as when you are accessing bank or other financial sites. It lets you access more data by compressing the traffic on the server before getting it to you.
Google Play and Apple app store both offer a number of VPN applications you can download. If you work outside often or even at home and want to keep your connection secure, having a VPN may be the best solution.
Install an Anti-virus software to add that extra layer of protection.
People install anti-virus software on their desktops but don’t always do for their phones. Having anti-virus software installed on your phone is like having real-time guards who notify you immediately of any possible attack. They give out alerts, and depending on what you’ve permitted them to, they can take immediate action to resolve the issue. There is a myriad of software you can download for free but can give you the best protection you will ever need.
Smartphones will continue to evolve. Its usage will increase. There will continually be an increase in mobile applications which will be developed. In the U.S alone, 68% of internet usage is initiated by mobile apps.
Expect that for each development in technology is an increase in susceptibility for vulnerabilities and threats. There would always be people who would do what they can to take advantage of the technology to suit their best interests.
Hacked apps can result in revenue loss, brand damage, fraud, and intellectual property theft. Staying on top of trends and also of ways to keep yourself and your devices secure is a must. It is a responsibility each smartphone user has and must reinforce to keep our digital space safe for everyone.
Maria Brooks is an ardent blogger and frequent traveler who writes about home improvement, travel, and the latest trends on emerging technologies. She is currently working with EyeSpySupply, which offers a wide range of spy camera and tracking device,including spy wireless camera, nanny cams, GPS trackers, and voice-activated audio recorder and more.
Helena is a digital and content marketer who works at Spaculus Software. She is working with B2B companies and provide useful and engaging content that converts viewers into customers.
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