On December 11, 2017, Platinum Edge Media and its founder CJ Thompson created National App Day as a way to celebrate how apps have inspired us and changed our culture. The Registrar at National Day Calendar went on to proclaim National App Day to be observed annually.
We can’t truly appreciate the impact that apps have on our lives without an idea of how to use these programs securely. That’s especially the case for mobile apps, as mobile devices don’t have the same robust security tools that are available for laptops and PCs. Considering that fact, presented below are my top three mobile app security tips for National App Day.
Tip #1: Do. Not. Create. An. Account!
I think this is the most foolish thing that people do when using the plethora of mobile applications available today. Instead, rely on one of the Single Sign-On (SSO) offerings available.
Tip #2: Family Accounts Are Key!
If you are the tech savvy individual in your family, create a family account. Typically, you save your family members a few bucks, but you also get the benefit of controlling their accounts. That means if they foolishly allow their account to be compromised, you can just delete it and create a new one without service issues or payment details being impacted. The less technically inclined members of my family share my family accounts. This means that I foot the bill for them, and they get peace of mind with a sub-account. I don’t know that family accounts were ever designed with security in mind, but I find that to be a huge benefit of them.
Tip #3: Centralized Billing Is Good!
A lot of app vendors, particularly in the gaming space, are fighting the battle that diversity in payment options is critical to the evolution of the mobile platform. They couldn’t be more wrong. There is a strong argument that vendors like Apple and Google should act as gatekeepers to mobile payments. Is it limiting at times? Yes. Can it be costly to the app vendors? Yes. Does that outweigh the security for end users? No! I HATE giving out my credit card information to small companies. I will often not shop with a company if they don’t accept PayPal. I look at my Apple and Google accounts in the same way. I don’t want to pay companies directly because that increases the attack surface and risk of a breach. Don’t be fooled by app vendors that argue that these payment systems are limiting. The app vendors just want more profit and may not be as concerned with keeping your payment information private as are bigger vendors like Apple and Google.
What are your app security tips for National App Day? Join the conversation with us on Twitter using #NationalAppDay.