In life, there are a handful of people that each of us truly trust – and can confide in fully. And, it’s safe to say, you’ve probably taken into consideration the trustworthiness of each one of your confidants. Maybe you’ve evaluated them on their ability to keep secrets in the past or perhaps they each possess characteristics of generally trustworthy folks.
Now take a look at your mobile device. How many apps, social networking sites, and different vendors do you trust with your most personal details and login information?
Whether you like it or not, there’s no denying that mobile devices have become an extension of ourselves. With that in mind, shouldn’t each app that you download be carefully evaluated for security, before you choose to trust it with your secrets and personal information – just as you would a friend? Unfortunately, this is not the case for most mobile users.
As one recent analysis uncovered, there are 14 apps for Android devices that have less than optimal security in the means by which they handle login information – and for that reason alone, just shouldn’t be trusted. However, these apps still continue to be widely used by mobile owners and account for more than 80 million total downloads.
The common denominator with all 14 of these apps is that they offer a social sign in option, using your login information from Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft, to sign into your account.
Once the apps obtain this third-party information, they transmit it back to their database through plain text. This means that attackers can easily access your unencrypted login details and compromise the linked accounts.
As I’ve always said, encryption is absolutely key when dealing with sensitive information as it will convert data into a crypto code that cybercriminals won’t be able to decipher.
So remember: vet your mobile apps in the same vein as a friend with whom you’re considering sharing a secret. And if you’re confused as to which apps are trustworthy and which are not, it’s a good rule of thumb to just keep all sensitive information off of your mobile devices and apps.
Another great way to stay protected? Use comprehensive security software on your mobile device. McAfee® Mobile Security is free for Android and iOS, and the Android version provides you with details regarding how apps are accessing your personal information.
Also, consider implementing a password management tool. True Key™ by McAfee, which provides an easier and safer way to unlock your digital world – allowing you to access your apps and websites without the hassle of having to remember, create or type in multiple passwords – with the True Key app, you are the password.