Basic practices of security in mobile applications

January 24, 2020

Basic practices of security in mobile applications

Smartphones have changed the way we communicate and connect with the world. The smartphone, which has been in the market for ten years, has had such growth and modernization that sometimes we wondered how we could live without it before.

More and more are the elements of our daily life that pass through the mobile, and these devices, which make our daily tasks easier, also concentrate a lot of information about us. Every year more than 140,000 malicious programs are detected for smartphones or tablets *, which are intended to obtain information from our mobile.

We already talked to you about some of the strategies that criminals use to obtain information for fraudulent purposes. On this occasion, we have prepared some tips that will help you prevent you from having malicious applications installed on your mobile phone.


Use official applications

This may seem obvious, but not everyone is aware that there are “pirate” applications that copy the image of the official applications of other companies, so you can download them and steal your information. Normally these applications are offered on unreliable web pages.

It is very important that you make sure you have downloaded the application from the official stores of both Google Play for Android and the Apple Store for IOS. These platforms have security measures to verify the authenticity and reliability of the applications they host.


Review the details of the application you are downloading

The reviews and comments of the application in the App Store can give you an idea of ​​the degree of security of the application you are downloading. Check the publication date, the developer, and the ratings. Above all, check that the developer is the company that owns the application, which is the most important thing.

Regarding the ratings, take the time to read them. They give a lot of information about the correct functioning of the app, but they also allow you to verify the authenticity of the application: if there are very few opinions, or many but all excellent, distrust.


It is also important that you review the permissions requested by the application. In the case of applications for IOS, you can regulate them and decide what access you give through the configuration of the phone. For Android, when you load the application, it tells you through an external link, what are the permissions that the developer is requesting. In any case, check them before downloading to know exactly which parts of your mobile you are giving access to.


Keep the application updated

It is important to verify that you have downloaded the latest version of the application. Normally, app updates, in addition to including improvements and new tools, also include security optimizations that cover new possible threats.


Activate alerts

Find this option in the application always to be aware of the movements that are made in your profile, especially if it is an application linked to a credit card, such as Spotify, Amazon or iTunes, or a banking application.


Log out

This point is basic, but unfortunately, we do not have the habit of closing sessions when we leave an application. In the case of applications that have important user information, such as email or social media, if our phone falls into the hands of another person, it is crucial that there is no access to personal data that may be in that application.

In other applications, such as banking or those that contain payment information, they are configured for security so that the session is automatically closed after a period of inactivity.


Activate your phone’s location and screen lock

Some mobiles have the option from the “Activate location” menu, and for those who do not, there are applications that allow you to find the device by GPS. This functionality is very useful in the case of loss or theft, because it allows, in addition to locating the phone and reporting it to the manufacturer, blocking or deleting the data it contains so that they are not accessible.

In addition to this, the screen lock with PIN or password is highly recommended. It may sound obvious, but putting a password to access the device will prevent someone from obtaining your data in the event that it is lost or stolen.


How to detect if I already have a malicious application installed on my mobile?

The signals can be several: noises in telephone conversations, messages and emails that are deleted or appear as already read, increase in data consumption, shorter battery life, etc.

For these cases, Retrocube experts recommend making backup copies of the device and cleaning it, changing all passwords from another device, removing all unnecessary applications and installing an antivirus before restoring data to the mobile. In addition, for Android, the Conan Mobile application lets you know the degree of security of a mobile device.

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