How ignoring mobile app policies can hurt our online security

The advancement of technology has made it so that we can access our favorite online websites, applications and services anywhere, anytime. That is extremely beneficial for both enterprises and regular individuals, who are no longer forced to sit down in front of a computer screen to check their emails, the weather forecast, their bank account status, chat with their friends or work associates, or buy a new piece of furniture for their homes.

Such mobile applications come in an extremely large variety and are usually free of charge, which explains by most of the time people don’t bother to think about the implications of installing them on our devices. Mobile apps have become a regular part of our lives, both personal and professional, so we usually just take them for granted, only considering the positive benefits of their usage.

A study recently carried out by RiskIQ aims to draw attention to the downside of our insatiable demand for mobile apps. It found that not even half (47 percent) of us will sometimes review the permissions and privacy policy of an app before downloading it to our devices, while 36 percent don’t bother to review before downloading at all.

The study serves as a kind of warning against a laissez-faire attitude towards mobile app security. It confirms that we are regularly jeopardizing our devices, our data, and even our identities by not recognizing the importance of permission and privacy policies review.

Scott Gordon, chief marketing officer at RiskIQ, concluded in a formal statement that “unlike businesses that have become increasingly cyber security savvy, many consumers remain vulnerable in an ever sophisticated threat landscape. With the volume of personal information being requested and shared through mobile applications, it is time for consumers to improve their online behavior and step up security awareness.”

We believe that Gordon hit the proverbial nail on the head in this statement, because he goes to the core of the problem regarding mobile security: regular consumers remain poorly informed on how their negligence can affect their online security and prevent unpleasant situations such as identity theft or worse.

Mobile application vendors are bound by law to make their privacy policies public, so before you agree to anything, take the time to review this information and check to what extent it may pose a threat to your online security.  

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