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.
· 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.