The number of mobile phone users is increasing exponentially. According to some conservative estimates, this number will cross the 5-billion mark by 2019. There is no denying the fact that smartphones have made lives more comfortable for everyone. But then they are also a very attractive opening for cybercriminals who steal e-wallets, identities and so much more from their victims.
Apps are used on pretty much all these mobile phones and tablets. And that’s why these smartphone apps are the preferred way for cybercriminals to hack into your smartphones. A Smartphone is only as good as the apps it can handle, these apps are used for everything from online banking, to listening to music, controlling other devices at your home and of course, shopping!
All these apps generate tons of user data, and it’s a goldmine for cybercriminals! This data can contain credit card information and passwords, and it can give access to phone camera and contact lists. Many mobile app users have been scammed into giving away this precious information when they unknowingly download malicious apps with hidden adware. This is why it’s important to educate yourself on the best ways to stay safe from having your phone hacked (click here to read more), before disaster strikes!
This is why mobile app security is paramount for app owners as well as app developers. This study shows that more than 60% companies blamed insecure mobile apps for data breaches, and it’s quite surprising to see that nearly 44% of these did not immediately secure their apps against future cyber-attacks.
That’s why it is essential to work with reliable app developers who use tried-and-tested frameworks and tools that ensure the security of your app. Here are several other ways to ensure the security of data in your mobile apps:
1. Strong user authentication
Two-factor authentication can help secure the apps and their usage considerably. Other relevant technologies include MFA i.e. Multi-Factor Authentication, Open ID Connect Protocol as well as the entire OAuth 2.0 authorization framework.
Authentication and resulting authorization are crucial components for app security. You never know where your phone might end up and who gets to access it. These simple features give your phone the ability to ask a simple question, “Who Are You?” And most of the times that’s all it takes to protects your device against hackers and cyber attacks.
2. Apply security to APIs
API can be quite useful for securing mobile phones and apps. It is a good idea to use APIs to manage all data required by your app as well as generated by it. It can help secure data in transit and at rest within the app.
For data that’s on the move, use SSL with 256-bit encryption, and for data that’s at rest, make sure that the origin of this data is secure. Each API needs to have an app-level authentication as well. As long you can validate who is using the services and then limit sensitive data so it can be wiped off conveniently.
3. Only use reliable apps from trustworthy sources
Smartphone apps are affected by malware that mostly comes hidden in 3rd party apps. The good news is that that these bogus apps usually can’t find their way into the Apple app store and Google Play Store. So, you are better off downloading reliable apps from these sources only.
4. Use anti-virus software
While Google Play Protect does a swell job of keeping your apps safe, malware is a sneaky little terror and can get in ways you would never suspect. That’s why anti-virus software such as Germany’s AV-TEST are needed to keep all entryways safe. These smart apps can find any existing malware on your phone, delete it and keep others from getting in. Other honorable mentions include Norton Mobile Security and Avast Mobile Security & Antivirus.
5. Set up remote wipe capabilities
If your app has the ability to connect to iCloud on iPhone or stay in sync with Google Sync, it can remain secure and even wipe all your info in case the phone is stolen or lost. The good news is that most modern devices already come complete with this functionality. Remember, you can also locate your device using this very technology as well.
6. Turn off the Wi-Fi when you don’t need it
If you aren’t using the Bluetooth Wi-Fi or other connections, turn them off. Not only will you save a lot of battery power but also safeguard your phone and its apps from potential intruders who might consider the idle connection an open invitation.
Remember the BlueBorne Bluetooth hackers? Well, they are still alive and kicking who knows what they are capable of. But have a heart because the September 2017 release of Android was patched to prevent these kinds of attacks. Make sure your phone vendor has deployed it already.
7. Use a VPN where possible
A Virtual Private Network will protect your apps and your identity in case you access a public Wi-Fi or a free Wi-Fi.
This way you can hide your phone’s identity online and give your apps a secure gateway to the internet without endangering your private info in any way. Some of our favorites include KeepSolid VPN, NordVPN, and TorGuard. We’d rather you didn’t trust the free ones; they don’t work very well.
7. Keep Your Phone Locked
Common sense, we know. But many people still don’t do it. For some, it’s just cumbersome to put in a pin or a password every time they have to use their phone, and others think the phone’s safe as long as they have it on them.
If only life in the digital world was this simple!
It takes one shifty pickpocket, who’s good at his job, to part you from all your digital info. There goes the credit card info, ID info, and other important data right along with your phone.
So, put in the fingerprint ID, iris scanning, pattern locks. But know that nothing beats the good old pin as the safest way of securing your smartphone.
Of course, many other practices help you enhance the security of your apps. But here we give you just a brief overview of the steps you’ll need to take to keep your apps safe at all times.