Protecting Yourself from Risky Mobile Apps: How Can You Do It?

0
11

Stay
safe when using mobile apps.

A lot of people may not realize it but using mobile apps
pose a number of risks to the user. According to the Summer 2013 App Reputation Report prepared by Appthority, the
leading authority in app risk management, about 83% of the most popular Android and iOS apps pose some security risks
and privacy issues
, with iOS
apps
exhibiting riskier behaviors (91%) as compared to their Android counterparts
(80%).

In addition, the report also claimed that 95% of the top
free apps exhibited at least one risky behavior. About 78% of the top free Android
apps tested identify the user’s ID while 72% track the user’s location. In
comparison, only 44% of the top paid apps use location
tracking
. Considering these findings, it is about time you exercise some
caution when downloading free and paid apps. To protect your identity and your
data, here are some useful tips that you may want to consider:

·        
Be
selective.
Keep in mind that you open yourself to potential vulnerabilities
every time you download and open an app so always proceed with caution. Only
download apps that you actually need and be careful about which app store you
use. Not all app stores require that the apps go through rigorous testing
before offering them to the market. You should also keep in mind that gaming
apps are slightly riskier as compared to non-gaming apps.

·        
Do your
research.
Don’t get into the habit of downloading apps without exercising
due diligence. It is always best to research the developer’s website, the
sponsoring company and the app itself before downloading it. Read the app’s
privacy policy and try to find out what other people are saying about it. 

·        
Don’t
sign in using your social network credentials.
Single sign on (SSO) or
using your Facebook credentials to log into a non-Facebook application may
contain numerous bugs that will open you up to certain vulnerabilities. 

·        
Use a
strong password.
Protect your mobile device with a strong password and make
sure you don’t store that password in the same device.

·        
Use an
anti-virus and anti-malware software.
Protect yourself from the bad guys by
using the best software available in the market. Be selective since not all
anti-virus and anti-malware software are created equal.

·        
Note any
changes.
You should be wary of any changes in the performance of your
device. If your device suddenly starts performing differently after downloading
or using an app, it may be an indication that a malicious code may already be
present in your device.

Downloading and using mobile apps, both the free and paid
versions, may be risky but you can adequately protect yourself by following
these tips.