9 Top Security Tips For App Fanatics

9 Top Security Tips For App Fanatics

Just because “there’s an app for that” doesn’t mean you’re safe downloading it!  

Apps are game changers. They’re life hacks for easier and more productive daily task performance. With millions of apps present in both Google Play and Apple Stores, it is safe to say that there’s an app for almost everything a person needs.  

However, it’s undeniable that some of these apps have security issues and vulnerabilities untold, and some are even used to maneuver hacking attacks. 

As an app fanatic, be extra careful in pursuing the things you love! 

ALWAYS SPOT THE FAKE APPS 

Hackers exploit the popularity of apps among millions of users worldwide by creating and publishing impostor applications on Google Play, Apple App Store, and other app markets. 

You thought you were one step ahead of hackers by installing a security tool on your computer and mobile. But it turns out, you actually aren’t! 

An example is last month’s viral discovery of 32 fake malware-filled apps for Google Mobile OS. These android apps were found to ask for excessive permissions in order to spy on victims, access tracking locations and use the camera covertly. Through this, hackers could read information about users’ contacts and also secretly make phone calls. 

The news further explained that such apps had one thing in common – they were about the popular online game — Fortnite. And this threat has been the focus of a recent study by Top10VPN. 

 

Simon Migliano, Top10VPN 

Our biggest concerns relate to the excessive permissions. We found apps that can be used to spy on people by tracking location, reading contacts, using the camera – even secretly making phone calls. None of these permissions are present in the official Fortnite 

 

Luckily, catching these fake apps isn’t rocket science. 

Below are some reliable ways to spot these poseurs, and what you can do to safeguard yourself. 

1. Double check the developer’s name.  

Before you download an app, ensure the developer’s name comes from a reputable company or someone you recognize. Check the spellings. Remember: some hackers also use similar names as the trusted ones. Although it doesn’t guarantee total security, doing so can help you stay away from vicious authors. 

The image above is a possible pitfall to a security breach if left unnoticed. 

2. Beware bad grammar and typos. 

Many fake apps are created hastily by non-native English speaking developers. A poorly written app description could be an indication of a phony app, so you’d better read it thoroughly. 

3. Check the reviews all the time. 

Reviews are made purposively. Generally, an app with more reviews means a legit one. Make sure to check both sides of the opinion coin and read the negative reviews first before the 5-star ones. Why? Users who read those bad app reviews first would know the reason behind negative feedback and then can use this knowledge to make smarter decisions. Yet, always take note that reviews can be easily bought.

4. Shopping discounts? On apps? A big no-no! 

That’s a massive red flag! Any similar offers from apps promising instant shortcuts and discounts are just too good to be true. Designers are businessmen, and while some major companies can offer free apps, there’s always a cost even if it is “just” the presence of ads.

5. Go directly to the app’s official website. 

For a quick solution, download the app straight from the company’s website. 

6. Always verify permission requests. 

Learn to deny permissions to an app asking for access to all data on your device and the websites you visit. Check if the permissions requested are relevant to the apps’ nature of service. You wouldn’t want some random hacker savoring your private images and data just because you were reckless about permissions. So, take time to read meticulously what you are about to give. 

 

Gabriel Wood, NextAdvisor:  

Be especially careful with any app that asks for the administrator permission, as this gives the app the ability to do really nasty stuff like change your password, encrypt your storage and make itself undeletable. 

 

7. Read the user’s agreement and privacy policy. 

It may seem a tedious process, but it’s the optimal way to find the real intention of an app and the purpose of all its demands. 

8. Research before you download. 

Researching takes up time and is sometimes inconvenient but it saves privacy and security, nonetheless. There are many apps that do not belong to well-known developers, though, that are legitimate as well. The only way to still enjoy what other developers can offer—especially those from virtuous new developers—is to check their past apps and review what online forums are saying. 

9. Watch out for free apps. 

People love anything that is free and that’s the reason behind the growing billions of app users worldwide. But did you know that some free apps do rubbish acts like collecting data more than what you thought you’ve allowed? This is the biggest reason why everyone should check permission requests as written earlier. Your personal information becomes the product hackers and scammers sell to the darknet when you don’t check the permission requests. 

Conclusion

We live in a world full of wonders: good and bad. Though the latter may crunch our passion and enthusiasm on the marvels of technology, it doesn’t have to be bad enough to stop us from keeping on top of it. 

Cybercriminals may try to take advantage of people’s weaknesses. But the good thing is, companies are prompt in coming up with the best solutions for security risks. 

At Flint Technologies Solutions, we understand that the weakest link in the security chain is among the people using it. Nevertheless, Our goal is to help you do business better and at the same time live your tech life better, so we prepared cybersecurity measures such as app protection, hybrid walls, multi-factor security authentication, data encryption, cloud backup, etc. to help you protect yourself and your business’ information.  

Yes, there are millions of legitimate apps out there and I know you’ve been using two or more. That’s great! As long as you apply all the lessons you’ve learned above, you’re ahead of the safety curve.

Which PowerApp is best for you?

Which PowerApp is best for you?

In my Last post, I discussed “What is Microsoft PowerApps” and why businesses should use it. In this post, I’ll discuss the types of PowerApps available to build and how to choose the one suitable for your requirement.

PowerApps is a platform which provides us the capability to build a feature-rich, no code, platform independent app in near no time.

PowerApps are of two 2 types: Canvas based PowerApps and Model-driven PowerApps

Canvas apps have been here from the beginning whereas Model-driven apps are the one newly introduced.

Canvas Apps

Canvas Apps are pixel perfect apps which are designed by dragging and dropping elements on a platform just like a slide of Powerpoint. You can use excel like formulas to define logic and can use over 200 connectors to connect to different services. Canvas Apps are designed keeping in mind the end user platform like mobile phone or tablet on which it’ll run and designed accordingly. For mobile phone and tablet, a separate app needs to be designed as Canvas Apps sick to their size once designed and can’t remodel themselves according to the screen.

Canvas Apps give you freedom of customization the design as per your requirement for each screen and component and connecting to an available set of connectors.

Key Features of Canvas Based Power Apps can be summarized as :-

  1. Design-oriented where components need to be dragged and dropped on a canvas to design an app
  2. Can connect to over 200 connectors of different services
  3. High customization/design scope available
  4. Comes with Power app plan 1 ($7 per user per month) Ref: pricing

Model Driven Apps

Model-driven apps are built on the top of the data model-building up from the shape of your core business data and processes in the Common Data Service to model forms, views, and other components. Model-driven apps automatically generate great UI that is responsive across devices.

In simple words, here you need not design pixel perfect UI, the platform itself generate a nice UI according to the data you keep on forms and the process you design. Also, the model-driven app changes their orientation according to the device they are running at like mobile phone, tablet or web application.

Model-driven apps are built and managed from the PowerApps Portal similar to how canvas apps are built and managed.  There is a mode switch to the lower left corner which allows switching between the canvas and model-driven design modes.

Key Features of Model Driven Power apps can be summarized as :-

  1. UI is driven from the data model rather unlike canvas based app where pixel perfect UI needs to be designed
  2. Model-based apps work on CDS (common data service) data source and can’t connect to as many connectors as canvas-based apps can.
  3. Comes with Power app Plan 2 license (40 $ per user per month) Ref: pricing

 

Now as you have a fair idea of both type of power apps, it’s time to understand how you choose one type of power app over other.

Canvas based apps are capable to connecting over 200 connectors and let designer design app as per his creativity and requirement in terms of UI. So if UI customization, low cost and specific connectors (which you want to use) are your main concerns, you need canvas based power apps. Keep in mind, canvas-based power apps takes time in development as each screen along with its component need to be specifically designed and tested against data operation.

On the other hand, if you defined data model and process in D365 which you want to convert to power app and doesn’t necessarily want pixel perfect design and system generated design is fine, you should go with model-based power apps. The advantage with model-based power apps is that you don’t need to design each screen, unlike Canvas-based apps. You design CRM forms and those forms are automatically rendered as power app screens.

In my next post, I’ll be building a simple Canvas App to show how can you quick start building power apps.

I hope this post was helpful. I’ll be waiting for your questions and comments.

 

Power Apps; Understanding What it is and Why to use it

Power Apps; Understanding What it is and Why to use it

Businesses today don’t want to stick around bulky applications which they have to log in using their computer and enter the data. They want beyond that, they want things to move quickly on their fingertips. They want to punch in things on the go, while traveling, just like browsing another app.  They want to drive their business their way, not just according to products capabilities and limitations.

So to suffice such requirements of businesses, power apps comes into play.

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