A report has revealed that consumers are concerned about smartphone security risks with more than 200 mobile applications and websites leaking personal data in the last year.
The report from Wandera says it’s found significant evidence that information is being leaked from apps and sites in 20 countries.
A spokesman says: “Mobile is the new frontier for data security but it’s clear that compliance risks and security are a much bigger threat than was previously thought.”
Among the data being leaked included names, addresses, contact information and phone numbers.
Also, the growing popularity of mobile wallets means financial data is also being leaked.
The firm says the data sources include mobile shopping and entertainment apps as well as news, sports and travel sites.
Perhaps it should not come as a surprise that some sites are more prone to data leaks than others with 80% of the world’s top 50 adult websites shown to be leaking data.
Encryption shortcuts found in secure apps
Researchers have found that some smartphone apps that claim the encryption service is bullet-proof do not encrypt files at all.
They say many apps found in the Google Play Store that claim to secure files by using encryption either fail to encrypt or use methods that are easy to crack.
The researchers at the University of Strathclyde put nine of the most popular apps which said they protected passwords and have the ability of encrypting files to the test.
All of the tested apps were funded with adverts and were selected because they had high numbers of downloads but all displayed major weaknesses that compromised the user’s security credentials.
Personal data restrictions unveiled by the EU
The EU has unveiled measures that would restrict the way messaging apps will handle personal data in future.
The restrictions would affect WhastApp and Skype.
The proposals are extension of the regulations covering mobile phone operators and will now cover value added messaging services.
Among the proposals is to guarantee the confidentiality of all communications and requiring the consent of companies before they can process a user’s location data.
In addition, the proposals also prevent online advertisers using platforms to target customers with online ads.
Bus passengers can buy tickets with their phones
Bus passengers in the borough of Gedling, near Nottingham, can now pay for their travel using a smartphone.
That’s because they will be able to use ApplePay to buy tickets and then show the driver their phone when boarding. No money will be changing hands.
A spokesman for Nottingham City Transport said the current app has been popular since launching with more than 50,000 downloads and that the current new features including mobile ticketing are also proving to be popular.
Beware if you use an STI app
STI apps are delivering harmful and inaccurate information, say researchers.
The study looked at 90 smartphone apps that focused on sexually transmitted infections and one in three had incomplete or inaccurate information.
Reaches say that the variation in the quality of medical advice could lead to the app’s user running sexual health risks before speaking with a doctor. One of the issues is there is little guidance for the consumer to assess the quality of information and its accuracy provided by the app.
In other Miratrix mobile phone app news …
Smartphone users in India who use payment and banking apps have had a shock after chip maker Qualcomm said most of these apps are using poor security for their online applications.
Industry watchers say the new Microsoft Surface smartphone may be the success the firm has been looking for and come to dominate the mobile phone sector. One of its striking features will be adding peripherals that are built for personal computers.