Application Marketplaces

The number of applications available to download on mobile devices has been rising over the past few years and for many of us they are a key part of our lives. We use applications for banking, shopping, games and communication to name a few. However, how secure are these applications that are downloaded onto our devices?

Mobile Phone applications that are downloaded from official application stores are generally more secure because of the automated and manual examination techniques. These are used to check the application for malware, drastically reducing the likelihood of malicious applications being downloaded onto the device. However, the examination process is not 100% efficient and the official marketplaces can still contain malicious applications.

For apple devices, third party marketplaces can only be utilised if the user jailbreaks their device, this security modification removes the application sandbox which is responsible for ensuring that applications only have the access to what is required. If malware is downloaded through a third-party application, it will not be under any constraints and may be able to cause more damage to the device.

If a device is infected with a malicious application, then it may be able to obtain sensitive information such as phone numbers, device information, and email addresses

To reduce the risk of a malicious application being downloaded, the following points should be adhered to:

* Apple users should ensure that their device is not jailbroken;

* Applications should only be downloaded from the official application store;

* Security software should be downloaded on your device to check that no suspicious applications are installed;

* Permissions should be checked prior to downloading, if any of them seem unreasonable, an alternative application should be downloaded.