Today it seems like there is an application for everything. From banking to shopping, individuals have become accustomed to using mobile applications to perform some of the most privacy sensitive tasks. Similarly, as the world becomes more technologically savvy, mobile applications have become a widely used outlet for conducting business.
As mobile applications increasingly become a part of everyday business practices, businesses must carefully consider the privacy and security risks. To address this issue, the FTC recently released the publication “Business execs: 7 things to consider before using that app” in which it encourages businesses to:
- Choose Applications Wisely – Consider what information the application collects, how the application will use the information, and how the application protects data during transition and storage.
- Use a Secure Network – When using an application to conduct sensitive transactions (accessing accounts, using a credit card, transmitting confidential information), make sure your mobile device is connected to a secure location.
- Consider Wi-Fi Risks – When using Wi-Fi to utilize an application, use password protected Wi-Fi hotspots.
- Use Mobile Websites – Though applications are convenient, they can be risky when used with a non-secure network. If business must be conducted via a non-secure network, consider using the mobile website instead of an application (this may offer more protection).
- Get a VPN – If your employees regularly send sensitive data using applications or WiFi hotspots, consider obtaining a virtual private network (VPN ) for your company. The VPN will encrypt traffic between the employee’s computer and the internet.
- Maintain In-House Applications – If your company has an in-house application, regularly update the application to promote security.
- Talk to Your Employees – Make sure all employees and co-workers are aware of mobile application best practices.
In addition to the above, always encourage your employees to regularly install computer, mobile device, and application updates to decrease the chance of a security breach.
Through following these best practices, businesses can decrease the risk of privacy and/or security breaches, protecting its clients/customers, as well as itself!