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Category: Mobile Apps Page 1 of 2

Watch Out While Giving Permissions To Apps On Your Mobile Devices

You might have encountered pop-ups asking for permission to access certain details whenever you install an app on your mobile phone. We generally accept to grant access and that’s where we expose ourselves to cyber vulnerabilities & threats.

Permissions That Can Have Serious Repercussions –

  • Location – All apps generally ask for permission to track your location. If you install an app that contains malware and if you give app permission to track your location, then cyber criminals can keep a check over your movement.
  • Contacts – Some apps require you to allow them to gain access to your contact list. With this, you allow the app to see who all are in your “contact list” and what are their contact details. Apps can further use this information to market themselves. If hackers access this information, they can misuse the phone numbers, email ids of contacts known to you.
  • Gallery – If you download an app that asks for permission to peek through your gallery, then ensure that it is from a trusted source. One needs to be wary of giving permissions to such apps as cyber-criminals can use your photographs or even ask for ransom to exploit you.

Here we have listed certain ways to stay safe while giving permissions to apps on your mobile phones –

  • Read the app description thoroughly and make sure that you comprehend on each and everything before actually installing the app on your mobile phone.
  • Make sure that you download the app from a trusted source. If you are not sure, send an email to the developer and ask them about reasons why they require permissions. Download the app only if you are satisfied with their answers.
  • Check out whether the permissions asked by an app are required or not. For e.g. if you download an app that monitors your eating habits and it asks for permissions to access your gallery, then it is better to give it a miss because gallery has nothing to do with your eating regime.
  • The best way to ensure about authenticity of an app is to read the reviews of other people who have downloaded it. Read them thoroughly to gain an insight of complains or positive feedback about the app.
  • Manage your account permissions using permission manager apps. They help you manage the permissions and disallow them to gain access to other apps that contain your personal information like gallery, contacts etc.
  • Keep your phone updated and install a good anti-virus.
  • Do not download the app that asks for too many permissions than what are generally required.

It is extremely important to audit the app permissions every now and then to ensure that your personal and confidential information stays safe and private. For more information on IT Security, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

Most Common Mobile Threats

Mobile phones have become a part and parcel of our lives. As per Statista, by 2020 there would be 9,038 million mobile phone users globally. With their increasing use, another important issue that comes into picture is the mobile security. Here we have listed some common mobile threats you must be aware of –

Data Leakage – Fraudulent apps seeking personal information can lead to data leakage and are a serious threat to mobile security. Mobile users need to be extra careful while granting permissions to various apps to gain access to gallery, notes and other folders. If a certain app requires you to fill in more information than what is generally required then it is best to avoid it.

Spyware – Your private information remains private no more. Spyware is a type of malware that collects information about the websites you visit, whereabouts and sometimes even your personal information. The collected data is then sent it to a third party without your consent or knowledge.

Viruses & Trojans – Viruses often masquerade themselves and come along with a program that seems legitimate. They can then hijack your personal information as well as sensitive login credentials or send unauthorized premium rate texts. Viruses can also enter your mobile when an app containing malware is installed on your phone.

IoT Threats – Almost all the devices are now connected with our smartphones. If a hacker gains access to your mobile phone then chances are that they can hack information available on other connected devices as well.

Network Spoofing – This often happens when you browse the internet using unknown Wi- Fi networks. Cyber criminals spoof the access points and then hack your emails, contact information etc. to use it for their benefit.

Out–Of-Date Software – There are higher chance of falling prey to a malware attack when your mobile phone runs on an outdated software that hasn’t been updated. Out-of-date software don’t have appropriate security patches often resulting in your pivotal information getting hacked.

Tips To Avoid Mobile Threats

  • Update your mobile system regularly.
  • Don’t set up easy passwords if you browse sites that contain sensitive login credentials.
  • Install a good mobile anti-virus software.
  • Download the apps from App store only.
  • Try to avoid using unknown Wi-Fi networks.
  • Read the end user agreement before actually downloading an app.

For more information on IT Security, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

Facebook Launches “Friends Nearby” Feature

April 25, 2014

Social networking giant Facebook has never been the one to rest on past laurels. New features and improvements are a frequent part of the offerings on the website. Among the latest addition to the Facebook stable is a new feature called ‘friends nearby feature’.

What is “Friends Nearby Feature”:

  • This feature works by letting you know how far away you are from your friends in a particular location. This information can be shared for a limited period of time, but will definitely allow people to spend more time with one another in the ‘real’ world than they do ‘online’.
  • The ‘friends nearby feature’ was developed by an app team that Facebook acquired in the year 2012. The feature displays a list of nearby friends on all Facebook applications that work on IOS or Android systems. Moreover, if one of your friends has shared his exact location on Facebook and is very close to where you are, it will also display a map for the same.
  • The development of this new feature is primarily aimed at answering critics who believe that the social networking giant is isolating people from one another in the real world. By sharing the nearby locations, people can actually meet up with their friends for a hangout or dinner, thus validating Facebook’s basic premise which is to connect people.
  • Though certain privacy issues float around this feature, if people can manage those effectively, then there is bound to be room for plenty of meetings and hangouts with those who are close to them. For this, the Facebook apps on Android and IOS systems allow you to turn on the feature for a specific group of friends or everybody on your friend list. The choice is entirely yours.
  • Once you have decided on the list, the next step is to tap the ‘location’ icon next to the name of your friend. This will allow you to share your exact location with them. You can also key in a 40-character message stating what you are doing or that you intend to catch up.
  • If your friend is also using this feature, you can expect a response and hence plan your meeting. The feature also allows you the option of deciding on how much time you want to share your location with your friends.

What sets this latest offering from Facebook apart from others in the market is that it is based on broadcast proximity than location. This implies that you can share how close you are to someone without sharing the exact details. The feature will work through GPS on your mobile device and can be a great way to get back in touch with the people who matter in your life.

How To Get Found In Mobile Based Searches

September 16, 2013

A vast majority of internet users in the present “smart-phone era” are using their mobile devices as the principal internet access points. In shocking statistics, the mobile-based search share for Google is estimated to be a whopping 97% globally. This explains why it is important for businesses to up their mobile based search engine optimization techniques. This is especially true for local businesses, since people on the go looking for a local business are a lot more likely to carry out a mobile search than log in through a computer. The following tips tell you how you can figure higher on mobile search results for your business:

  • The best way to get your mobile site to show up on Google is to work on your desktop site SEO and add a mobile redirect to channelize these efforts to your mobile SEO. Google reuses desktop site rankings for mobile searches, which explains why the www versions of websites pop up in mobile searches, instead of the “m” versions.
  • If you do not have one yet, get a responsive website design now! This way, you do not have to worry about creating consistent content for both your mobile site and desktop site. Responsive websites are definitely the way to go keeping in mind the evolving internet scenario over the next decade.
  • Considering the dramatically lower time between search and action on mobile searches versus desktop searches, it makes sense for local businesses to ensure that users have an optimized experience when they visit their site through a mobile search. While getting responsive is a big part of the game, you also want to make sure that you have a fast-loading mobile landing page, display easy-to-play videos for smart-phone users, etc.
  • Measuring your ROI of mobile search is a good way to keep track of whether your efforts are paying off, and if more needs to be done.
  •  Finally, remember that when it comes to the mobile world, even the slightest error in the device, link, or site design can influence the content being viewed and even pop up an error message. Be sure to check thoroughly for errors and eliminate barriers to appease your customers and the search engines.

At Centex Technologies, we create responsive website designs, mobile applications and mobile websites for businesses. For more information, call us at – (855) 375-9654

Android Phones Versus iPhone

August 23, 2013

Android or iPhone- the question of who wins the battle of the smartphones is a long-running one that no one quite seems to know the answer to. Here is an attempt to breakdown the numbers governing this staple debate, to see which of the two really is the winner of the mobile platform war.

The first question in this regard, is of course, which smartphone has more buyers. According to a research conducted by the Kantar Worldpanel Comtech, Android is the clear winner, outspacing iOS by a margin of a whopping 52.1% in the United States alone. Talking of the worldwide market share of the two smartphones, Android dominates with a share of more than 70% versus 21% for the iPhone.

However, when it comes to tablets, the statistics favor iOS, which enjoys a market share of 53.8% versus Android’s 42.7% share in tablet shipments. Interestingly though, when we talk of the money being made by Apple versus Samsung, the former is the one raking in the bucks, accounting for 72% of the industry’s profit.

Talking of superiority in terms of apps for both the platforms, even though this is usually a completely subjective analysis, a company called uTest carried out a comparison by collecting user reviews and ratings, according to which iOS apps are more superior, with an average score of 68.5, versus a score of 63.3 for an average Android app. While iOS ranks higher for app availability (Android had to struggle for months to get Instagram), Android offers higher flexibility for its apps, allowing them to run on multiple browsers.

Another advantage that Android offers over iOS is better sharability. The sharing function called “intents” enables users to share all forms of data in between their apps simply by long-pressing the text or image. This makes tasks like sharing photos or carrying out Google searches undeniably easier. iOS on the other hand, scores high in terms of portability, with the average iPhone being lighter and more compact than its Android counterpart. Another perk to the iOS is higher consistency, which though, is balanced out by the increased customization, which Android, being an open-sourced system offers.

We at Centex Technologies create mobile applications for iOS and Android platforms. For more information, call us at – (855) 375-9654

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