Are the apps on your phone secure?
Security today is a huge concern and has been since the technological shift from Y2K. There is often a false sense of security when it comes to mobile and web applications. They can be hacked. So what can you do to prevent your apps from being hacked? Whether it’s your own product that you’ve created you’re concerned about or an application on your phone there are measures you can take that will make your applications more secure.
Applications on Your Phone
- Be mindful of your surroundings
When using your phone in public there are most likely people within your close proximity. Think airport, on a train, on a bus, or any other setting where you might have someone close to you. Your phone’s screen can be seen. If the screen can be seen then what you are typing and the application that you are using can be seen as well. Ever thought about why some banking apps allow you to hide your credentials and account balances? Because the sheer fact that they can be viewed may put you at risk (especially if you’re fortunate enough to have a lot of zeroes!). Just be aware of your surroundings and keep your phone away from prying eyes.
2. Password Security
It goes without saying that password is not a password. While they may be difficult to remember, using a password similar to the secure passwords that Google generates are probably the most secure types of passwords out there. Even two-factor authentication these days is questionable. Many apps require some form of email sign-in. As a user when you put your email credentials into an app, how can you be sure that the application developer/owner isn’t able to view those? It actually is a pretty big concern. We recommend using apps that are reputable as far as having a good track record of users and reviews. If you question it, don’t your info out there. Going with your gut can save you a lot of heartaches.
3. When it’s out of your hands
Application developers are supposed to put in certain securities that can keep hackers out (we’ll discuss this more below). When apps are not secure in the backend you as the user may have no idea. You might have the most secure password in the world that no one knows except for you. If the backend of the app is not secure and you enter your information it could become compromised at no fault of your own.
Product Security For Your Own App
How can a product owner know if the app is secure?
Pentesting is a shorter term for penetration testing. This is a test to find vulnerabilities in your applications or network. Developers will create simulated attacks on the app to expose where the cracks are in security. If the app doesn’t keep the intruders out in the test (considered a fail), the developers can then view what information by the “user” was accessed and potentially stolen.
Without doing these vulnerability tests, no one can use an application with confidence that their information is safe. The app stores do an excellent job of vetting application developers but to say the process is perfect would be inaccurate. There will always be someone trying to hack software which means they believe that there is a way in.
If you want to learn more about application security consider chatting with one of our developers today!
Drop us a line at (208) 344-1115
Is using an app guaranteed safe? Why or why not? Read below to find out.
When you download an app you might have to pay for it. The app is run through Apple’s Store so it’s probably safe right?
Maybe. When was the last time that you checked to see who the author or developer of the app was? Are they reputable? Are they a company? An individual?
When you downloaded then loaded an app, what information were you asked to provide? Were you asked for an email? A phone number? How about a home address?
Believe it or not, all of the above has been asked within apps in the past. Sometimes this info is taken without you knowing it.
Questioning the fact that an app knows where you live?
Do you happen to allow location tracking with any of your apps? If you do, more than likely you go home to sleep at night correct? Do you think that the app doesn’t recognize where you go every day? Or where you are when you are using it? That’s the whole point of location tracking after all isn’t it? To track you?
Now let’s talk about websites. When you visit a website there are these things called “cookies”. These should be called bread crumbs. You recall Hansel and Gretel right?
To explain cookies simply, when you visit a website that has cookies enabled they are able to see where you go from that website. At each new website you visit thereafter, you leave a breadcrumb. Those websites can then use that data to target you and the others that visited their website with new information and new data. You’re basically leaving a trail for them to follow.
So are apps safer than websites? No. They might track you or your information a little differently than a website, but that doesn’t make them safer. It doesn’t necessarily make them unsafe either. You just need to be aware and judicious of what information you are providing.
If you’re bored and want to know the kind of information an app collects, try reading the privacy agreement in the app store. It’s quite…informative.
Or if you don’t feel like reading all that fancy jargon give us a call at 208 344 1115, or shoot us an email at email@example.com. We’d love to break down app security versus website security for you.
Access the IP Security – Port Firewall on Windows 2000
In order to access the IP Address / Port restrictions / Firewall tools in Windows 2000.
Use this quick video to see where to click to access.