Most people are aware of the risk to their personal and financial information presented by hackers. However as many of us now carry out our everyday tasks using our Smartphones, tablets and netbooks, exactly how safe is our personal data? Read on to find out more about the best security to protect your apps.
Use common sense when browsing
Smartphones not only offer consumers the chance to browse apps but give them the opportunity to access the internet just as they would on a laptop or PC. When browsing online, make sure you always check the cache for evidence of an SSL certificate which means that the connection between your phone and the site you are browsing is encrypted (and therefore secure). Some websites will choose to invest in a Wildcard SSL certificate because it is better value for money as it secures more than one server or domain simultaneously, but this will not alter your user experience in any way.
Use reputable sources
Since Android devices are ‘open source’ (meaning that anyone can submit apps without testing) their users are more at risk from a malicious download. For Android device owners, the main problem is malware which is hidden in conventional apps. The best way to avoid downloading something harmful is to only install apps and games from reputable sources like Google Play, the Amazon App Store or ITunes. Third party, unregulated app stores make it difficult to trust any content you download.
Always check the rating and read reviews regarding each app before downloading to get an idea of any potential problems and technical issues that might arise. Generally speaking, the more downloads an app has had, the safer it is likely to be.
Check the permissions
When downloading an app, you will be presented with a screen detailing the permissions you need to grant it to install. Try to distinguish between valid requests and suspicious ones (for example: does the app need to track your location or send messages remotely?) and if in doubt, don’t install. Be alert to apps requesting permission to make calls, send messages or access contact data.
Downloading security apps
Software has improved dramatically in recent years and so called ‘security apps’ are actually packages that include a host of other tools. Depending on the specific app, facilities can include everything from anti-theft features which enable owners to track their stolen phone using GPS to blocking nuisance callers to back up services. Always choose security apps from reputable firms like Norton, NetQIN, McAfee and Antivirus to ensure maximum security for your device.
Add passwords and back up regularly
Sounds obvious, but so many people neglect to create a passcode for their phone – silly since a password is the first line of defense to prevent hackers accessing your emails, making phone calls or looking at the data in your apps. Also remember to back up your phone regularly so that in the event it is stolen you can restore your data to a new device effortlessly.