Is the Apple App Store Safe?

Most people tend to find the Apple app store safe. Apple cares about their customers’ security and privacy, so apps in the app store should be trustworthy, right? But recently, researchers found that even some of the most trusted and popular apps were behaving suspiciously.

So what did researchers find?

Normally most people tell you to just download better rated apps from Google Play or the App Store. But a researcher going by “Privacy1st” recently discovered that the 4th most popular paid app was less than savory. The app, Adware Doctor, was recording private data from user devices and sending it to servers in China.

It looked for popular browsers, recorded browsing history, even recorded processes running on your iPhone or iPad. It knew what apps you used, and how you used them. And all of this data eventually made it to Chinese servers.

Shortly after, researchers found several more apps all using similar behavior. Interestingly, all were fairly popular and well rated apps. But they all violated user’s privacy without them knowing.

What is being done to make the Apple App Store safe?

Thankfully Apple has since removed these apps, and has previously been careful to remove similar apps. But problems like these continue to happen.

As much as Apple wants the App Store to be safe, cyber criminals and shady companies are always looking for ways to exploit it. Code is never perfect no matter how hard developers try, so eventually something will get in.

All Apple can do is try to limit what gets through and take off the the junk apps that do make it on to the App Store.

What does this mean for me?

The biggest takeaway in this post is that even Apple users need to be careful. While Android users may be aware of more dangerous apps, iOS users often believe the App Store has perfect security. So you always need to be cautious, even on the App Store.

Also consider what data you access on mobile devices. You need to treat sensitive business data with care— or you may lose it. If you do handle data that is sensitive, you need to be especially picky about what apps you allow on your phone.

Finally, when choosing new apps, be wary of the reviews. In past times these were a good way to check if an app was safe, but lately, crooks take advantage of this trust. Often they have fake reviews on their apps to bump their ratings, and lull users into a false state of security.

So double check the reviews, look for unusual language or duplicate reviews. These could be signs of fake reviews and a dangerous app.

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Need to go a step further? Haider Consulting has plenty of solutions to better secure your mobile phone. New software can prevent malware, scan for suspicious behavior, and much more. And Haider Consulting specializes in finding the best fit for your business needs. If you’re ready for the best mobile security for you, contact us today!

So is the Apple App Store safe? Not necessarily. But if you take the proper security precautions, you can be much safer on iOS, Android, and everything in-between.