mobile app security checklist

Whether your mobile phone is for personal or professional use, there is a heap of data that you want to keep private and protected. There is also a financial risk involved as many mobile apps offer in-app purchases giving them access to your financial information. Many mobile applications are also collecting behavioral data in the background, which users are unaware of. This information helps businesses target ads towards the user and influence buying behavior. For a healthy digital experience, developers must ensure mobile app security for their users. 

The mainstream mobile software iOS and Android have made significant progress in creating secure mobile phone experiences. There are many security options that app developers can implement straight away or give users control of their privacy settings.

This blog will share a mobile app security checklist of the most essential protection features of 2022. 

Call and Message Encryption:

There are grave security threats to communications over the internet, such as calls, instant messages, or sharing audios, images, and videos. Users can become targets of snooping or man-in-the-middle attacks. High-ranking officials are often the subject of these attacks, so hackers can gain information to blackmail or steal authentication details.  

Encrypting conversations helps users avoid leaks of any sensitive information. End-to-end encryption ensures that the data stored on messaging app servers and user devices is encrypted. The encryption key can be session-based, so it keeps changing, or 4096-bit SSL keys. Both options make decryption virtually impossible for hackers. 

Frequent Security Patches for Apps and Operating Systems:

Since the mainstream adoption of the internet, hackers have been a constant presence. Every new security measure taken and every new app designed presents new flaws that hackers exploit and try to damage the integrity of our devices. Last year ransomware viruses wreaked havoc across different platforms and devices, and older viruses such as trojan horse still continue to pester devices. 

Application developers must be open to reviewing the chinks in the armor they create and work diligently to protect users from such viruses. Users must also comply by frequently updating their devices’ operating systems and applications.

In hindsight, hackers encourage developers to continuously improve security measures and always be wary of cyberattacks. 

Regular Checks for Malware:

Malware can sneak onto your mobile devices quite easily, especially if you’re not internet savvy. Often malware is downloaded along with other internet files and remains dormant until any of these files are accessed or an application is run. 

There is a quick and reliable strategy to protect from malware that is already on the mobile device.

Built-in virus scanners are now provided on smartphones that can detect malware.

On Android devices, you can scan for malicious apps using the Google Playstore. Similarly, every time you restart the iPhone,  iOS runs a malware scan. Developers must ensure that these scans are scheduled to automatically run to remove malware if they end up on the devices.

Protection from malware and other viruses is a top priority on the mobile app security checklist for best practices. 

Multi-Factor Authentication Requirement:

Smartphone users do not appreciate repetitive checks and authentication on their mobile devices. However, perhaps password protection is the most crucial mobile app security measure. It ensures that no one else uses a person’s device and can also be programmed to take counter-measures in case of theft.  

Mobile app developers have made authentication much more convenient, so users do not feel troubled by authentication checks. A four-digit pin can be arranged into 10,000 possible combinations while being easy to remember for users.

The problem here is that many users opt for overly-simplified passcodes such as “1-2-3-4” or “0-0-0-0”.

In fact, around twelve percent of all users in a survey had one of these two security pins. For this reason, mobile app developers must encourage device owners to use slightly more complex pins that are tougher to crack. After all, there are 9,998 more combinations to try! 

The latest range of even budget smartphones now contains biometric scanning devices. Biometric devices such as fingerprint scans or facial recognition are nearly impossible to crack or bypass. They are incredibly secure and require minimal effort. Developers must make a point of including biometric security wherever possible. 

Another essential security option is multi-factor authentication. This means two or three steps are added to deploy multiple levels of security. Multi-factor authentication can be a combination of pins, passwords, biometric verification, security questions, calls, and messages. 

Protection Against Device Theft:

Mobile app security does not end with the user. The chances of losing your device or having it stolen are pretty high. This requires mobile app developers to develop contingencies that can assist device owners in case of misplacement or theft. 

GPS location tracking has made it possible to locate your device as long as it is connecting to IoT mobile or wi-fi network.

The best outcome of device theft is relocating it, as it gives the user access to their device, protecting them from monetary loss. It can also help locate the criminal who has stolen the device. 

If the device cannot be recovered, developers can add contingencies. The safest contingency is a data wipe that erases all files from the device itself. The data wipe option is not ideal because vital data might be lost in the process. In this scenario, the best mobile app security measure is to allow cloud backup of the data user chooses. By creating a backup, the user can recover their data, and the thief also cannot gain access to sensitive information on the device. 

Data Leak Prevention:

Small bits of information can be stolen from the regular use of mobile devices. Even the savviest users might not catch on to how hackers can steal their data. Data-theft viruses like keyloggers and cloud hacks discreetly copy and reproduce data on the thieves’ devices. 

The mobile app security best practices developers can adopt to prevent data leaks include blocking clipboard activities (copying and pasting) and screenshots. When accessing sensitive information like banking apps, disabling copy-paste and screenshot features protects that data from being leaked.

Developers can also warn users not to download sensitive files on their devices and access them instead on a secure server only.

Developers can also add watermarks to confidential documents that only authorized personnel should access. By adding time stamps and usernames, developers ensure that access to confidential documents can be tracked. 

Conclusion:

Ensuring mobile app security checklist is a continuous process. While mobile app developers have already introduced some innovative and safe measures, the threat of hackers and information thieves is always looming.

Privacy tools and authenticated applications help make the users’ digital experience secure. Additionally, developers should frequently schedule security updates for operating software and essential apps.

Users must also play their part in protecting themselves from cyber attacks and data theft by opting for verified applications, adding multiple security measures, and not giving access to their devices to other users. 

To deploy the best mobile app security for creating enterprise apps, contact expert developers at Xavor. Our mobile app development team has decades of experience in fortifying data, creating secure backups, and integrating applications for safe and reliable collaboration. To benefit from Xavor’s mobile app development services, contact us here. 

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Moin ud din

Muhammad Moin Ud Din is a Content Strategist at Xavor Corporation where he plans, creates and manages content. His favorite writing and conversation topics are macroeconomics, physical and mental health, and comic book movies. In his free time, Moin does voice acting and promotes professional wrestling in Pakistan.