Smartphones have become essential gadgets in today’s society. We rely on them to do our daily tasks ranging from asking directions to mobile banking. With massive storage capacity, we store important information on these smartphones, and hence it’s of utmost priority to keep them secure. Besides locking our devices, we usually forget that the apps we use can also be a security risk. If you are considering to up your security game, here are some of the ways in which you can ensure your mobile apps are secure;
Install apps from the official store
At the moment, there are two major operating systems for smartphones, Android and iOS. They both have official stores where their users search for apps, download and install them. In the recent past, there have been malware issues with these stores but not anymore. Nowadays, every app that makes its way to these stores is scanned thoroughly to ensure it doesn’t have any malware. Also, in Android, disable the installation from Unknown Sources settings under security. Only use this setting if you trust the app’s source and after verifying that it’s secure.
Set correct app permissions
The apps we use in our smartphones require specific permissions for them to function properly. Sometimes these permissions are not necessary. In the latest version of Android and iOS, you can set what permission you allow an app to use as well as deny the requested permissions. When granting app permissions, be skeptical and even further enquire why a certain app requires certain permissions. For instance, it will be illogical for a flashlight app to request permission to access contacts, file storage, location, and the internet. Be wary of apps that request access to location services, camera, and contacts. These apps might track you and even upload your data without your knowledge.
App data encryption
This is the hardest part to know if it’s implemented, but it’s also the most crucial. How apps handle your data determines its security. If the app doesn’t protect your data, setting correct permissions and even using passwords will be a waste of time.
For instance, messengers such as WhatsApp and Telegram have implemented end to end encryption. This ensures that your data is safe while you are communicating through the internet. You should ensure the apps you use to implement such security mechanisms as this makes sure no one will intercept your data. Unless you are an advanced user and know how to do a pen-test, it will be hard to know what apps are secure. But worry not, you can always get the information from the app store.
Check for change logs, user reviews and even ask the developer. Stay away from apps that are not well rated.
Ensure your apps are not spying on you
You might have everything in check, but still, your privacy and security might be at risk due to someone spying on you. Most people don’t know if they have spyware on their smartphones and this makes it hard to keep their privacy intact. To know if you have spyware in your device, keep an eye on the following signs; Your device overheating for no reason, excessive data usage, and battery drain, the location turns on by itself, unusual device restarts and crackling sounds when receiving/making a call. Typically, you might ignore the signs thinking that your device is faulty. A combination of the above signs may strongly indicate that somebody is spying on you.