The increase in mobile apps is due to the increase in demand for smartphones and mobile devices. There are about 6.2 million people who are using a smartphone, which means we are to expect an equal amount or more number of mobile apps available in app stores.
Smartphone applications are even becoming a frequent necessity as companies today hire developers to create one for their business. Mobile apps become part of a business brand, and it drives revenue back to the company. However, as the number of mobile applications increases, more hackers have the opportunity to find new targets.
Hackers are keen on targeting mobile apps because they are rich sources of consumer data, less protected, and users never conceive of the existence of hackers in this area.
Businesses that allow their employees to use their devices at work can bring a higher risk of data breaches. Employees never think of the consequences when downloading an app. They even allow apps from unknown sources or one that is outside of the official app store. Doing so can put business and personal data at risk.
A Mobile Security Report 2021 shows that 97% of companies experienced mobile-related attacks, and 46% of the reason was due to employees downloading a suspicious app. This posed a risk to businesses particularly if BYOD is a common practice.
However, there are ways that you can secure your mobile app for your business or personal use. It is also good to know that having knowledge of installing a safe app is crucial.
How to Protect Smartphone Applications: For Personal or Business
Use a Strong or Multiple Authentication
Brute force attacks are one of the most common strategies hackers use when they need to access an account on an application. Therefore, those accounts whose passwords are weak or easy to guess fall effortlessly into the hands of hackers.
If you want to prevent unauthorized access to your accounts, you have to implement multi-factor authentication.
There are different ways to add this layer of protection to your mobile apps.
- Password or PIN sent via email or SMS
- Biometric measures like retinal scan or fingerprint scan
- Multi-factor security key device
The combination of a strong password and an authentication layer can prevent hackers from further gaining access to an application.
Add App Lock
Aside from keeping your mobile app account secure, you can prevent hackers from accessing your app by using an app lock. If you lost your device, this can help secure crucial apps like bank apps, social media, and more.
You can easily activate the app lock on your device. Both Android and iOS smartphones have this feature in their settings.
Add a Passcode on Your Device
The very first barrier that protects your phone from hackers is adding a passcode on your device. You can prevent anyone from opening your device even if it’s lost. Use random numbers, letters, or a combination, and as much as possible prevent the use of personal information like a birthday.
Update Your Mobile App
Another way hackers can gain access to smartphone applications is by exploiting vulnerabilities like outdated applications.
Outdated software has vulnerabilities or bugs that can be used by cybercriminals to inject malicious code into the application. When users use outdated apps, the malware can run into the device and compromise the data.
One of the most common attacks on apps that developers fail to patch or recognize the vulnerability is a zero-day attack.
If your mobile applications are requesting updates, don’t hesitate to accept them.
Install an Antivirus Software
Employees sometimes download applications that can contain malware. These infected applications aren’t recognized at first. It is not easy to spot an unsafe app when it is installed on your device. The best way to prevent this from happening is by using an antivirus software program and activating a feature on your device’s app store.
There are various antivirus software programs that are made for mobile devices, and they scan an application before it is installed on your device.
You can also activate the Play Protect feature on Google Play Store to secure apps that you download to your device. For iOS, the apps store has a different approach. There is no Play Protect feature or any feature of any kind since apps on Apple are all monitored and approved first before allowing to be posted on the app store.
You can check out our online shop for the best antivirus software for your smartphone. We have AVG for all devices, Bitdefender Mobile Security, and more.
Don’t Jailbreak or Root Your Device
Most people jailbreak or root their smartphones for them to have access to applications that are not available for their device or operating system.
When using applications that are beyond the app store, it can cause harm to the device because they might contain threats.
Optimize Data Caching
Smartphone applications can store cached data for it to enhance performance. The storage of cache data can cause security issues and make it vulnerable to attacks. Hackers can decrypt the cached data and steal it.
You can protect this data by adding a password to the mobile app, particularly if it contains sensitive information. However, the best way is to wipe the cached data. You can do this manually or set an automatic process.
Prevent Data Leakage and Unauthorized Access
Documents and unstructured data are frequently kept on mobile devices when they access company data. The risk of data loss is increased if the device is lost or when data is shared with non-enterprise applications.
You can use apps that allow users to remotely wipe data on lost or stolen devices. In addition, you can control the data shared on the device by encrypting them.
Activate Security Notification
There are smartphone applications that allow their users to track their login time, place, and device. If the app you are using has such, activate it to notify you when someone is trying to sign in to your account or trying to access it without permission.
Determine the Permission
Applications need to access some part of a smartphone for it to function at its best. For example, Instagram needs to access a user’s mobile camera and speaker to take pictures or record a video. Pay close attention to the permission an app is requesting, if you think that the permission it’s asking is not necessary, you can deny access or not install the app at all.
Why You Need to Secure Your Smartphone
Whether you are a business owner that uses smartphones for your business, or just for personal use, protecting your mobile devices is critical. When talking about security on smartphones, it’s not only the protection of the mobile’s data, but the applications installed and more.
Smartphone or mobile security is a crucial topic, and business owners and individual users must always consider it.
Security of devices matters, and since most smartphones lack protection like those seen on desktops and laptops, hackers like to target them. In addition, as more people use mobile devices or smartphones in their everyday life, it gives cybercriminals plenty of targets.
Another reason why security matters to smartphones and mobile devices, when data is compromised it can ruin a business’s reputation. Data breaches not only cause a business to lose money but also downgrade its reputation. When a business happens to experience a data breach, customers will be hesitant to conduct business again with the same company.
For individual users, losing your data or personal information can result in identity theft and even loss of money.
Mobile or smartphone security gives users the ability to delete or access data remotely. Lost or stolen devices cannot always be prevented. When these devices carry critical data like business information or personal data, it can expose it to anyone who has the device. The best way is to manage data remotely. With apps and technology that allow remote data access, you can wipe content to prevent anyone from seeing it.
Using the right security app and implementing the best practices for your business or personal use, you can keep your smartphone and other mobile devices safe. When you are proactive in your security approach, it keeps you ahead of attacks and threats that hackers imposed on most mobile devices and smartphone users.
Learn more about smartphones and other mobile devices security at Softvire NZ.