Preventing malware and how you can protect your app development

What could be more exciting about creating an app than finally launching it? Months or even years of hard work spent developing and designing this will finally pay off as it goes live at last.

There are many stages in creating an app, but perhaps the most crucial happens towards the end, right before deployment. Not only should the codes in your working framework be checked for bugs but possible security breaches too. These security checks should be sustained throughout the app’s lifetime and continuously updated, especially for one kind of harmful software: malware.

All about malware

Malware, or malicious software, was developed by cybercriminals to infiltrate and damage computers and networks. Commonly referred to as “computer viruses,” they often compromise computer systems with the user being none the wiser. These are traditionally associated with desktop computers and laptops, but this has changed with the rise of mobile technology.

Now, malware has been adapted to target mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets (often called mobile malware). This is problematic, especially because so many new apps are created every day, and data security continues to be an issue in a lot of mobile software. Fortifying your app against such security threats is an essential step in its development and design.

Types of mobile malware

To give you a better idea of the threats you face daily, here are some types of mobile malware you need to avoid:

1. Mobile phishing

Most people are familiar with traditional phishing scams on desktop devices. They often come in the form of an email pretending to be from a legitimate and trusted source. Such emails will have slight differences in the content or sender’s email address, indicating that it’s a scam.

In the world of mobile, however, cybercriminals have developed new ways to carry out phishing tactics. Applications are used to carry mobile malware and are more difficult to detect than an email. Most apps look legitimate with no way of telling which one is fake until the malware has infected your mobile device, collecting your account numbers, passwords, and other private information.

2. Viruses and trojans

The most common types of malware on desktops now exist on mobile apps too. Fake apps masquerading as legitimate ones may carry viruses or a trojan horse that will infiltrate your mobile device. These are dangerous, as they are capable of mining data like bank information and your accounts’ passwords—but they are often difficult to detect with their innocuous payloads.

If your phone starts making some minor changes that you don’t remember initiating, it’s best to run a checker.

3. Browser Exploits

Your mobile browser may seem safer than your desktop, but you may also run the risk of running applications that can affect your browser (PDF readers, for example) and run malicious software on your phone.

4. Drive-by downloads

Drive-by downloads are especially dangerous because they can expose your mobile device to a range of threats such as adware, spyware, or even bots. Visiting malicious websites or opening a suspicious-looking email can allow drive-by downloads to manipulate your mobile device to perform tasks, such as sending viruses to other people or infiltrating the network you’re connected to.

Conclusion

Malware is very much present in mobile devices people use every day. Once a problem that seemed unique to computers, it is now essential for people to be aware of this risk. Many continue to learn to be more discerning with what apps and websites to trust to avoid being a victim of a malware infection. Developers are also learning how to protect new apps from such security breaches. With the right education, tools, and people, everybody can foster a safer and more fulfilling mobile experience.

Turning an idea into a reality with mobile application development is an exciting new opportunity. It also demands a rigorous development and design process with security at the forefront of the execution. We at Uncut Lab are a group of software engineers, designers, data scientists, and technocrats who provide emerging markets with iOS and android app development, web development, product design, and code audit. Contact us today to see how we can help you!

author

Lucas

I am the Uncut Lab resident cloud computing junkie. I help curate the written content in our Education Corner, providing engaging articles on foundational concepts in cloud computing, data analytics, machine learning, and blockchain technology. Feel free to reach out to me with questions or topics that you would like us to cover. Thanks!

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