Guard Your Data When Using Mobile Apps
Apps can do pretty much anything—they can find the best local restaurants, chart the quickest routes through snarled city traffic and track weight loss. Unfortunately, they can also steal your data.
In order for apps to do the convenient, beneficial things they do, they use customers’ personal information, such as physical location, contact details and passwords. Unscrupulous data thieves can steal your employees’ devices and gain access to this valuable information, or they can siphon it through a rogue app that your employees downloaded without knowing it was malicious. Hackers do this by adding their own illegitimate elements to a popular app and then offering it for free on a ‘bulletin board’ or through a fake online store. Once employees download the phony app, hackers may have unfettered access to their devices.
To help thwart data theft attempts, encourage your employees to follow these tips for securing personal information when using apps:
- Download apps only from official, trusted stores. Be extremely wary of apps from unknown sources.
- Read the information about an app in the app store before downloading it. Verify that you are comfortable with the amount and type of personal information it will be using.
- Clear out unused apps regularly—inactive apps are an open invitation to thieves. If you no longer use an app, uninstall it.
- Install mobile security software to defend your device.
- Erase any apps from the device before you recycle, resell or donate it, since they may have access to your personal information. Activate the “factory reset” option in the device’s settings.
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