iPhone Security Apps- Best Of Your Smartphone Experience Print

The iPhone is without a doubt one of the most advanced pieces of technology on the market as far as mobile phones are concerned. Although Apple maintains strict regulations regarding the apps that are available to ensure a secured device, they can still expose the end-user to problems that would not otherwise be found with older mobile phone devices. It is important to understand some of the security risks involved with using a smartphone and to be aware of the available applications that help to keep your smartphone and your personal data safe from prying eyes.

Don't store any sensitive information on the device. Actually we don't store anything at all, other than the login username, and this is only if the app user chooses to save this for ease of future login. Citigroup reported a security flaw in it's iPhone app in July 2010. The problem: they were storing sensitive information on the device.

Check for a jailbroken device at startup. When a device is jailbroken, you can gain full access (root access) to unlock all features of the said operating system, thereby removing limitations imposed by Apple. This means a hacker can get at the apps and the data on the device. They might even be able to decrypt your application binary and determine the logic, communication endpoints, and more.

Ensure that all external communication is secure. Use secure protocols when communicating with external bank systems (HTTPS, SSL, etc). We actually implemented an additional redirection layer on top of this.

App timeout and/or closure upon exit. In case a phone is left somewhere unlocked or let's say without a password on the device, you want to make sure someone can't just pickup the device and get to the app without providing credentials. You can employ a timeout on the app, requiring login after let's say 5 minutes of inactivity.

Apple also has an option in its build settings called "Application does not run in background". This is in the build plist file and if checked, when the home button is pressed the application will close completely, requiring a reload. The default setting is unselected, meaning that the app stays in memory unless the device is rebooted. In this case, you had better employ some kind of timeout period requiring credentials after timeout.

Seek for security specialist to perform a penetration test. Seek for security specialist firm to do this. They tested all communication endpoint urls as well as the protocol and the actual device. This is a relatively new area, so find a security specialist that has experience with mobile device security.

Security Organizer - With multiple apps loaded on an iPhone, there are potentially a number of different usernames and passwords stored throughout your phone. Keeping them all in one place is critical. If they are scattered across your phone in different files, you run the risk of someone seeing them. Though you may always have the iPhone in your possession, you still have the ever-present risk of someone compromising it electronically. With Security Organizer you can ensure that all of your passwords are in one place and that they are protected by a master password.

FoneHome Phone Tracker - In the event that your phone gets lost or stolen, this app will help you locate your device from a remote computer. It integrates with Google Maps by updating it's Latitude with each check in. Other features include activating an alarm regardless of what sound mode it is in and taking a picture of its location.

iPortScan - This application scans the ports on your iPhone and makes sure they are secure before you send or receive data. As phones become more advanced they have more capabilities, and they will therefore need access to an increased number of ports. Keeping those ports secured is very important and it will ensure that you are able to access the internet, check your e-mail, and even play games with some measure of security.

Firewall-IP - Having an open firewall on your iPhone is extremely dangerous and you don't want to fall into the trap that this scenario creates. Having a good firewall will ensure that first level attacks are unsuccessful. Note that a firewall cannot stop everything, especially if the person is determined, but it will help you.

Mobile Malwarebytes - This is not something that you will typically find on an iPhone, but it would benefit you greatly to ensure that your computer has some type of virus protection. At some point you will find yourself connecting your phone to your PC or laptop. A good virus protection package will protect you from trojans or other malicious software that seeks entry into your phone. Mobile Malwarebytes will protect your device from malware, trojans, and viruses in real-time.

These are items that deal with iPhone security and provide a good foundation for your search for a more secure mobile device. Your information is critical - make sure it stays in your hands!

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