App Security for National App Day and Beyond

Do you use apps on a smartphone, tablet, or wearable device? You probably do! “App” is short for “software application.” That means the apps we know and love on our mobile devices are all different pieces of software. There are more than two million apps, with more being added to app stores all the time.

National App Day is December 11, and it celebrates the applications we use to connect, work, shop, and play on our mobile devices. In honor of National App Day, take these steps to protect your apps and the mobile devices they live on.

Keep Tabs on Your Device

The biggest risk to your apps and device is most likely carelessness. The first thing to do to protect your device is to keep it with you in public. Don’t leave it unattended. When you’re not using it, store it in a closed bag or an inside pocket.

Update Apps Automatically

Turn on automatic updating on your devices, so they’re always running the latest version of whatever operating system and apps you use. Attackers are always looking for new weaknesses in software, and vendors are constantly releasing updates and patches to fix them. Keeping your apps up to date makes them much harder to hack.

Apple regularly updates devices, but Android mobile devices vary by device, manufacturer, and mobile carrier. For example, if you got an Android phone through T-Mobile, check the T-Mobile website for update information. Check out this helpful article on how to update Android apps:

If you use an Apple device, follow the instructions here to turn on automatic updates:

Connect With Caution

Public wireless networks and hotspots are often convenient, but rarely secure. Anyone could potentially see what you’re doing on your mobile device while you’re connected. Scammers can also set up fake Wi-Fi networks in public places to harvest information from anyone who joins the network. 

Be cautious when it comes to public Wi-Fi: limit what you do on public Wi-Fi, and avoid logging in to email or financial accounts via a public Wi-Fi network.

Protect With PINs, Passcodes, or Biometrics

Protecting your mobile device and apps is easy with a PIN, a passcode, or biometrics. These lock your device so that others can’t use it. The strongest level of protection is a biometric identifier, like your fingerprint or your face. If you use a 4-digit PIN to protect your device, consider changing it to a 6-digit PIN.. An alphanumeric passcode, or a mixture of letters and numbers, is even stronger.

No matter what apps you use, you can keep enjoying them safely with the suggestions above. Happy App Day!