Mobile App Security
Five Ways to Protect Your Smartphone
- Protect yourself from hackers
Be warned. Hacking mobile devices, also known as “jailbreaking” or “rooting,” is the process of downloading software that changes and opens your operating system. Hacking leaves your mobile phone vulnerable to other hacks and malicious software.
- Bank with authorized apps only
Online banking and bill pay is a great convenience. Having the ability to do it from your smartphone is even more convenient. Make sure you only use apps supplied by your bank. Otherwise, your trip to the ATM may be eye-opening when you discover a zero balance in your account.
- Only download popular apps
Apps that have a high number of downloads are less likely to be poisoned or infected with malicious software. One expert suggests the threshold of safety is about 150,000 downloads. Even though apps on “iTunes” or the “Android Market” have been vetted by Apple and Google, they can sometimes miss a threat. Read the comments and reviews about the apps. If there are many complaints, find another more positively ranked app.
- Download from reputable publishers
If you're uncertain about an app, do a quick search under the publisher's name. If you find a number of apps with good reviews and lots of downloads, chances are you are dealing with a reputable publisher.
- Keep an eye on your wireless bill
Some rogue apps do things like make expensive calls to foreign numbers to fatten the bank account of an intermediary site. Often the calls happen in the background or at times when you don't realize your phone is doing anything. Even if you haven't been infected, you may have unwittingly subscribed to an annoying service that automatically bills you every month for things like ring tones. Check your bill every month; it only takes a few minutes.
- CIO Magazine, June 1, 2011, issue
- OUCH! - Monthly Security Awareness Newsletter for Computer Users published by SANS