It’s a fairly common refrain that mobile security is a big deal. We often see confusing certifications for how secure a new device is, and nowadays tech providers make a big deal about how to unlock devices with various different means that are all supposed to be safer than one another. (In case you haven’t noticed, people are now unlocking their iPhones with their faces.)
It’s easy to nod along and accept the general premise that mobile security matters, because we all know deep down that we make ourselves too vulnerable through tech. We share personal and financial information like it’s nothing, and there’s always a risk that it could come back to bite us. Rather than ignore this (or panic about it) however, it can be a good idea to take some time and figure out what activities are most concerning from a security standpoint. In other words, which apps should you look into before using regularly, from a security standpoint?
The following is not an exhaustive list in response to that question, but it will get you thinking.
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This is still a relatively new sub-category of finance apps, but it’s one that’s handling a lot of people’s money, and figures to handle more moving forward. Stash, Robinhood, Acorns, and more give people the chance to invest with low fees and see real returns, all without connecting with a broker or even opening a browser window. The apps just mentioned have fairly proven track records and are used by droves of people. But clearly it’s important to read up on the reputation and security of any app you’re planning on using for investment. You can’t be too careful in this area.
Finances aren’t as much of a concern with social apps, but personal information certainly is. We freely post a great deal of data about ourselves and it’s easy to do so in a way that’s more reckless than we intend. The wrong privacy settings can allow anyone to see you in a way you may not like; a devious social app may sell or share your data without making it clear this is happening; and an app with unclear controls can make it easy for you to directly share an image, comment, or something else you never meant to share. Checking up on settings and security not just on the day you download these apps but with each new update is important.
Real Money Gaming Apps
Real money gaming is always gaining influence, and more sites and apps are added all the time. This can refer to fantasy sports, sports betting, casino gaming, and more, but whatever the specifics, it’s a major area in mobile entertainment, and naturally it involves a lot of real money deposits and even extended holding periods. For this reason it’s commonly recommended to check on the security of the sites underlying these apps, and make sure they’re trusted and able to express and/or verify their security methods.
This is still an emerging category, but top apps in cryptocurrency are sprouting fairly quickly, and people are pouring money into them in order to obtain cryptocurrency. The entire idea of cryptocurrency is that no one entity is holding your money and you always have control over your access to it. However, an individual app can be vulnerable in numerous ways, so trusting these fairly new companies blindly is probably a little bit reckless.