Tag: mobile security apps

Smartphone users may be more trusting in mobile security than it deserves

According to a recent study, Android device users are taking quite a casual attitude toward their vulnerabilities.

Proofpoint, a cyber and mobile security firm, has now released a report that has shown that users of Android devices had willingly downloaded more than two billion apps containing malicious code in 2015.

Those findings with regards to the downloading of malicious mobile apps were published in the Human Factor Report.

That report provides a closer view of the most recent cyber and mobile security trends throughout social media, mobile apps and email. Among the top findings of this report, one that is drawing a considerable amount of attention is the fact that malicious mobile applications are affecting the United States the most, with China in second place. The findings also pointed out that many of the problems with malicious apps come from downloads that are occurring in marketplaces outside of official channels.

These marketplaces are posing a considerable mobile security threat that device users seem to be ignoring.

mobile security trustThe researchers from Proofpoint discovered rogue app stores that were giving mobile device users the opportunity to download “free” clones of popular apps for both Android and iOS devices but that contained malicious code. In many circumstances, the games were clones of premium apps that were being offered for free, or included those that had been banned from the official Apple iTunes Store, luring people to these rogue marketplaces with their offer of something that was certainly too good to be true.

In order to be able to download those mobile apps, the users would have had to bypass a number of cyber security warnings along the way. Despite that fact, and the fact that downloading from those marketplaces increases the risk of downloading a malicious app by four times, many people are continuing with this activity.

The mobile security issues presented by these malicious apps can include anything from the sharing of personal information and data to revealing passwords to third parties. Downloads from those marketplaces surged during the fourth quarter of last year. Among the malicious apps that were indeed downloaded, data was communicated to 57 different countries. Of the data that was transmitted, 19 percent went to China.

Mobile technology could play a central role in security efforts

At the same time that consumers are being warned about their privacy over smartphones, those devices could also help.

A mobile technology trend involving the use of smartphones and tablets to help to improve local security among residents of a neighborhood and in tracking, through the combination of smartphones and social media apps.

These tools are becoming an increasing part of various types of community policing program.

The key is that smartphones are owned by the majority of adults, and among the owners of that mobile technology, most use social media apps. Moreover, they spend a great deal of time on those applications and they access them on a regular basis. This, as a result, is providing a useful tool in the help to fight crime. A new trend has started with private security companies as well as with the Community Policing Forum (CPF), where this tech and these mobile apps are combined in order to be able to raise awareness of issues and to alert residents when a problem may be present.

A growing number of specific instances of the use of mobile technology for crime fighting and safety has been occurring.

Mobile technology - SecurityOne example, among many, occurred on New Year’s Day, in Glenvista, South Africa. Just before opening at 8am, the Glenvista Shopping Centre Checkers store was robbed. This involved a situation in which an estimated seven suspects had stolen an undisclosed amount of money from the cash office. In this case, the robbery was discussed on the CPF Facebook page, where there were a number of important leads and connections made that brought about several advancements toward solving this crime. The good relationship between the CPF and the police has continued since then and they work closely.

Other CPFs within the community are also using mobile apps to be able to help in battling crime. Community Watch is one of the apps that is being used the most widely, as it brings together an instant messaging service with a direct connection to CPFs, private security companies, and even the police.

These are only a couple of examples of the important role that mobile technology is starting to play in the safety of individuals and entirely communities in South Africa, as regular everyday people and law enforcement officials work together to improve their own security using smartphones and apps.