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Best practices for mobile app security developers must know

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Whether it is an Android or iOS-based mobile app, security forms the major concern in the current world. Right now, the virtual world comprises of hackers and thieves, making it impossible to run an app without getting disturbed.

It won’t be long when you might get headlines stating that your Android devices have been hacked because of malicious applications. You may receive such threats at the time you are least expecting it. It might make you question; are all Android applications safe and secure to use in the Google Play Store?

At that moment, it is the responsibility of the Android developers to develop such secured apps for users. You have to ensure that your app must not intrude user’s privacy level and tamper with sensitive data.

Conquering around 83% of the share market, security forms the major concern for Android developers nowadays. The risk of getting attacked anytime with unwanted intruders is the last thing you want. So, following some simple steps beforehand can actually help you develop a much more secure Android app for end-users.

Avoid data leaking at any cost

If the developers fail to understand that the developed app info is prone to be accessible by anyone else, and the stored data on the device can be used later unknowingly, it results in the major issue of data leaking. In your testing phase, you will come across “Threat Modelling”.

It is training to ensure that no personal or sensitive data can get leaked or copied anywhere else without the developer’s permission. So, while developing an app, ensure that no data leaking takes place by testing it from all devices and multiple ends.

Using security with HTTPS and SSL

The SSL or Secure Socket Layer is also termed as TLS or Transport Layer Security. It is a common form of building block for encrypted communications between servers and clients.

Most of the time, the developer might use SSL security in an incorrect manner which gives malicious entities the chance to intercept an app’ data from unwanted sources, through the network. So, it is often highly requested to use security while app development is in progress. In place of HTTP, you can try using HTTPS, where the “S” means security. If your app has higher security, chances of them being hacked are less.

Validate all the time

If your app comprises of some input fields like passwords or username, you have to validate it always. It is the primary job of a developer to secure the app. Some hackers might try using SQL injection queries to trespass security and end up hacking the said account.

If your app has a cloud backup service, users might end up trusting you with their sensitive data. If you fail to validate the field, your account will be hacked. Once hacked, the user will be the victim of huge data loss, and the app is marked as spam. With the help of some technologies like ASLR and DEP, you can easily reduce the impact of any security issues on the developed app.

Avoid storing data on SD card and restrict WebView

The Android developers are requested to avoid storing sensitive or private data on the SD card. For storing a file on internal storage, you can use some other private modes like open file input and open file output under Context.MODE_PRIVATE. If you ever plan to store data on the SD card, try encrypting it first. You will come across multiple encrypted libraries to be sure.

Make sure to restrict WebView from accessing any local data. HTML5 along with some of the related technologies have been quite popular among masses for developing the Hybrid app or Mobile Web app. Hybrid is known to use WebView for displaying content from local HTML store or even fetch any HTML or other content from the server. Some of the major security risks with WebView are setAllowContentAccess and setAllowFileAccess methods, which will make your data vulnerable to the security breach.

Give less permission

For the Android developers, it is important to minimize permission that the app might request. It forms a major part of Android development services, which every trained developer should follow for enhancing security. For improving user adoption and injecting security method, avoid asking users to access sensitive permissions.

Remember that messages like “app needs to access photos, pictures, and contact” can be a threatening call to users. Right now, Android is taking the path of iOS platforms in terms of restricting apps from tampering sensitive data and improving security. Recent security changes can be seen straight from Android Lollipop.

Keep security in mind

Always remember to give security the first priority in terms of Android app developments. The more you keep security in mind, the better results you will end up with. You don’t have to worry about hackers and malware viruses to infect your app any longer. They won’t even get the chance to enter your application’s platform.


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