5 Steps To Ensure Your Users Mobile Privacy

Since we allowed apps entering every corner of our lives, we need to be prepared also for malicious intents to use the same gates. It is not impossible to fight them but we must be aware about their dangerous attacks. There are 3 steps for removing the concerns about mobile security that can keep users away from your app. First of all, you must discover what to prevent when it comes to mobile privacy. Secondly, you need to solve any issue that may appear with users’ security. Third, let them know that you took charge and there won’t be any problems with their protection. After all it is your obligation to keep their data safe.

A New Trend: Mobile Payment 

One of the most vulnerable actions in mobile environment is financial transaction. Even if there are some customers who prefer using classic methods for their payments, the new trend is to have access to your account in any circumstances without too much headache. A study published by BI Intelligence forecasts that mobile order – ahead will reach $38 billion industry by 2020.

Insecure Mobile Landscape

Money isn’t the only element that may attract hackers. Any kind of personal information can cause security breaches. A research made few years ago proves the vulnerability of paid and free mobile apps on both platforms Apple and Google in front of malware attacks.

Image Source: https://securityintelligence.com/new-mobile-security-threats-malware/

5 Steps To Ensure Mobile Privacy

It is vital to cover this topic and to understand what needs to be done because mobile insecurity is one of the biggest factors for app abandonment.

Secure Your Data

Starting with controlling the information flow inside your app is the most important operation in this process.

  • Encryption

In case you store personal data, make sure you are using an encryption method to protect users’ information. Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is a known algorithm for symmetric key cryptography. Moreover, 256 – bit AES became a must have for communications in successful companies. You need to study the concept if you want to win your users confidence.

  • Two Factor Password Authentication

You can’t rely the security of your app only on a simple password. A randomly generated code sent by the app via SMS or via email will add an extra layer of protection to your data. A survey conducted by ISACA which questioned 900 cyber security experts reveals that two factor password authentication is considered by 66% of respondents the most important action for improving the security of mobile payments.

Strong Mobile API Security

While mobile payments will reach more than $282 billion by 2021, remote payments will be the leader for mobile spending growth as a Forrester study predicts. This being said, you must consider the methods for securing mobile APIs in order to assure a protection for users’ transactions.

Image Source: http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/mobile-payments-volume-in-us-will-triple-by-2021-report

  • OAuth2

OAuth2 is a protocol for authorization which creates a temporarily token for access. After a period of time this token will expire, so your credentials are safe. Google offers a detailed documentation on Using OAuth 2.0 For Mobile And Desktop Applications. You can find there libraries and also samples which will make your work a lot easier.

  • JSON Web Tokens

JSON Web Token is an open standard (RFC 7519) for sending information as JSON (Java Script Object Notation) object. During the authentication, a JSON Web Token is created and stored locally. The entire process is described in the image bellow.

Image Source: https://jwt.io/introduction/

  • Open Id Connect

One of the protocols built on OAuth2 is Open Id Connect. It provides information for clients about authenticated sessions and end – users. Its specification suite offers the opportunity to use different features like encryption, session management and discovery of OpenId Provider. Keep in mind you can never be too cautious.

Image Source: http://openid.net/connect/

Implement SSL Certification

SSL is an essential technology created for securing communications. It offers confidentiality, authentication and integrity. Discover best practices of implementing SSL for app developers on the white paper provided by Symantec.

Include Privacy Policy

Taking into consideration that the number of smarthphone users in US will be 4 times higher by 2021 according to a prediction made by Statista, you need to find ways for attracting this huge number of customers. Privacy polices inspires the idea of professionalism and give them a clue about the path followed by their personal information.

It is very important and highly challenging convincing people to trust you. When dealing with customers’ data it is a good practice to inform them in what way you will manage it. You need to be sure that the link to your privacy policy is fully functional because you don’t want to mislead your users.

Image Source: http://techscience.org/a/2015103002/

  • Privacy Policy Examples

Let’s see some apps that prove their commitment to build a trustful relation with their customers.
Moves app owners published a privacy policy where they explain what data need to be collected and for what purposes. They mention third parties that can receive users’ information and they highlight the fact that the app should not be used by children under 15 years.
Sega app has a detailed privacy policy which shares its developers’ intentions for using the information gathered from users. You can observe that the document was updated on April 26, 2016. This is a really good practice to show your customers your interest in clarifying all their concerns.

Monitor Customer Feedbacks 2 Times Closer

Listening to users’ complains is part of the procedure when you discover which are the problems you need to solve and how you can inform them about the solution you implement.

  • Help To Determine Security Holes

Keep an eye on customers’ behavior inside your app and try to notice any situation which may cause issues with their information. Making everything clear will help you observe any problem and it will convince users to give the data you need for making your app functional.

  • Keep Customers Up – To – Date

Always communicate with your users and announce them when their data is corrupted or when they should be relaxed that their information is encrypted and secure. Also you need to update privacy policy whenever some modifications occur. For example Venmo, a financial app very popular through Millennials, received multiple complains after few users discovered that their accounts had been hacked. In the end they received their money but the problem was that they weren’t announced by the app about the issues. As a result, Venmo, which is owned by Paypal improved his notification feature and promised its users that any problem with their privacy will trigger an email which will inform them about the dangerous event.

Final Thoughts

Let’s recap to understand better: prevention, solution, notification. Observe any danger that may appear regarding the information used inside your app, secure your app in every possible way and announce your users about your actions. The circle is closed when you allow users to share with you any concern related to your app security. These are the stages you need to complete in order to present a safe and trustworthy app in front of your customers.

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