How to become an expert in application security (Security tips)

How to become an expert in application security (Security tips)

Every day hundreds of new mobile applications appear in the App Store and Play Market. Some of them will have less than 10 thousand downloads, others are becoming unbelievably popular. But “popular” does not mean “safe”. Most users do not know what risks they are taking in, launching this new application. It sounds funny, but most of time in order to prevent any threat, it is simply enough to change or remove certain items in the settings. One more thing to make things clear, below you can see word “sexts”. What does it mean? Well, it’s a type of massaging that allows one person to send to another what are often lewd, disgusting, private, intimate photos or videos. It’s probably better to avoid such things.

How to choose applications

How to choose applications?

Of course, you choose something that appeals to you or something that is popular with your friends. Adults do the same, so this is normal. But before you put a new program onto your phone or tablet, we advise you to do four things:

  • • Insure against unwanted purchases inside applications, especially if your parents’ credit card is tied to your phone. Today money can be spent not only in games, but also, in training services, in scheduling programs – even in some tools for scanning documents. To avoid accidentally spending hundreds of dollars on something useless, set the settings of the mobile device to require confirmation for each purchase. In a new application it is really easy to miss click the purchase button, it’s a common strategy in mobile app design today. So if you accidentally press “Buy” the system will ask you for a password before the vendor can debit the account.
  • Check if the app is suitable for you by age rating. Especially if it’s a game. Such restrictions believe me, are not asked to tease you.
  • • Make sure that your age matches the one specified in the usage rules. Sometimes, the application on the main page has a rating of 3+, but in the rules of use it is written that it is intended, for example, only for persons 14 years old and older. This is no accident. The store administration believes that even 5-year-old can download the application, but to create an account, you should be at least a teenager who has reached the required age. If you decide to break these rules, and the administration finds out, your profile may be blocked. It would be really sad to lose all of the progress you’d made over the weeks, months or even years.
  • Look for information about the application on trusted sites talking about online security. Find out if it may compromise the security of your device or data, Do experts consider it to be dangerous for users. If there are risks, it is necessary to check if it is possible to minimize them using application settings or an antivirus installation. You need to do everything to make the new application more safety for your device. If there any similar apps that are classified as safe, we highly recommend using them instead.

Which application can be dangerous?

Here are five popular applications, the use of which can lead to undesirable consequences. Of course, the list is not complete. So try yourself out as a security expert and consider the similarities between the applications mentioned here and those that you use. If you find they have similarities? Then it is worthwhile doing additional checks to see if the same risks that we list below are connected with them.



Dangerous application Snapchat

What is it?

The program for messaging, allowing you to send photos and videos that disappear after a short time – you choose it yourself.

What is dangerous?

The main idea of this app is to hide all the messages that were written, so there is a 100% guarantee what you won’t see them anywhere else. But the exchange of private, intimate photos and video – entertainment is not at all harmless. For example, the recipient can take a screen shot and thus save the received image. And then show it in secret to the whole world.


Dangerous Application Whisper

What is it?

A social network where people anonymously share their secrets and can communicate with other users of the application that are nearby.

What is dangerous?

Firstly, the “whispers” themselves are often nasty, obscene, and may come from someone with a criminal past. You never know what you might stumble upon, and, unfortunately, you can’t “unsee” dirty images or texts. Secondly, in Whisper there is a section MeetUp, created to ensure that anonymous users could meet with each other. But how can you trust someone you only know by correspondence? You cannot know what really is on his/her mind. Keep in mind: there are people who seek to use others for their own unseemly purposes and are well-versed, in persuasive correspondence making them seem very fascinating and sweet.

Yik Yak

Dangerous Application Yik Yak

What is it?

An instant messaging program in which users write anonymously and receive messages from other people within a radius of up to 8 km.

What is dangerous?

In the US, this application has become a serious problem for schools: it is not very difficult to unite all students in a common anonymous chat where anyone has the opportunity to insult teachers, school personnel or bully other school children. Especially if someone, fails to preserve their anonymity. So, if you use Yik Yak, you may be harassed or dragged into the baiting of someone else.


Dangerous Application Tinder

What is it?

Service for dating with other users who live close to each other. Theoretically, it is intended for those who are over 18 years old. But, it happens, it is used by younger school children.

What is dangerous?

If you use Tinder, anyone in the neighborhood can see your photo, find out that you live nearby, and try to meet up with you personally. Anyone! Or someone will see that you have, for example, “40 common friends” on Facebook, and will easily start spreading rumors about you amongst them.

Pokémon Go

Dangerous Application Pokémon Go

What is it?

A sensational game with augmented reality. Moving in the real world, the player catches, trains and takes on fights with a virtual Pokemon living in his smart phone or tablet.

What is dangerous?

Walking down the street, whilst immersed in the game, is extremely dangerous. Since the launch of the game, the Network has shown dozens of news stories about players being hit by cars or being injured by unnoticed obstacles. In addition, some spawns in Pokémon Go are in potentially dangerous places, for example, in abandoned buildings, in wastelands or in private areas. Sometimes, property owners have behaved aggressively toward those who visit such spawns. Even the games developers remind players that such places should be avoided. Catching Pokemon is safer in parks, shopping centers and other well-lit crowded places or near to the house, always looking up from the device in order to cross the road, and regularly looking around.


From now on you can consider yourself an application security expert. Now you can see most common dangerous issues in today’s’ applications and now hopefully you won’t do anything wrong. For my last bit of advice! Your parents – great real-time support team, so don’t be afraid to share anything with them. If you want them to respect you and your choices – show them that you can protect yourself. Before installing an app, make sure to talk with your parents about what sort of information you will share. Most apps aren’t meant to be dangerous or used as cyber-bullying platforms. Whether or not it winds up being harmful you need to show to your parents that you will use it appropriately.

By Polina Lisovskaya

I have been working as a marketing manager for many years and I like to look for interesting topics for you

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