- According to a survey carried out by S2 Grupo from its Hijosdigitales.es blog on security in the use of mobile applications, 48% of smartphone users leave the privacy settings of the application by default.
- The company’s team of experts has developed a decalogue for downloading and using apps in a secure way to protect people’s privacy and prevent possible virus infection from devices.
- S2 Grupo has warned that there are applications that ask for permissions that are not consistent with the functionality they will perform and may pose a risk to the owner of the smartphone.
Valencia, May 11, 2017. The volume of mobile applications downloaded is expected to exceed 268,000 million by 2017. The continuous increase in the use of smartphones has led to precisely this constant growth of the applications and, in this context, S2 Grupo, a company specialized in cybersecurity, has warned of the importance of attending to the security of these to avoid possible “cyber-hazards”.
According to a survey carried out by their Hijosdigitales.es blog about security in the use of mobile applications, 45% of people do not check the permissions that the applications request before they are installed, and these often allow users to access user data easily, such as their location or e-mail, which is of great value to its developers without having to create any technology to acquire them.
The problem is mainly that there are applications that exceed their requested permissions and get all the information stored in the agenda, for example, accessing the list of contacts and even reading emails without any justifiable reason, which can put in check the privacy of the people who have installed them.
In addition, the study also shows that 48% of smartphone users leave the privacy settings of the application by default and only 54% read the legal notice before installing the application.
Decalogue for using apps in a secure way
The team of experts from S2 Grupo has developed a decalogue of fundamental recommendations for downloading and using applications in a secure way to protect both the privacy of users and to prevent devices from being infected by viruses:
- Adjust the devices in their configuration to not allow the installation of applications of unknown origin. This measure will only allow the installation of apps from the official store, which gives greater security because those that are not official may contain hidden functions like viruses.
- Application updates. App updates usually respond to improvements in your security system, so it is recommended to adjust the device so that they are done automatically. In order to avoid excessive consumption of data, it is possible to indicate that these updates are only made when the mobile is connected to a Wi-Fi network.
- Periodically review the permissions granted to social networks. You can make concessions for specific needs and forget about it. This may allow your developers to be silently reading information for years.
- Preserve our privacy. The most common permissions are to read our files (photos and videos), know our location, access messages and email, read our contacts and write and publish on our behalf in a social network. To preserve our privacy it is advisable to access the settings area of the phone and remove any apps and permissions that we consider inappropriate.
- Permissions consistent with the function that the application is going to perform. For example, it is normal to allow the Whats app to access the camera or the SD card because it is a messaging tool. However, if we install a flashlight application it is not “normal” to request permission to send SMS or make calls, as these could be hidden and raise the telephone bill considerably.
- Before installing the app, read the list of requested permissions.
- Once installed check in “settings” the permissions that have actually been granted. It is interesting to make this check to make sure it matches the information provided before the download.
- Install an antivirus. Every year new virus variants appear to attack mobile phones directly, so it is essential to have an antivirus that analyzes the suitability of the applications every time we download them.