When you’re creating a branded mobile app for your company, you want to offer customers an enjoyable and useful experience. However, you also want to offer them a safe one. Mobile security is highly important to consumers, as it should be. Statistics show that cyber breaches are more common than ever: Gemalto reports that over 700 million breaches occurred in 2015, and 3 million mobile devices are affected by malware every six months.
If you’re creating an app, and you want to be sure that you’re providing the highest level of security possible to your users, consider taking the following steps.
1. Ask to confirm all user requests
If a user requests something from the application, follow up the request with a confirmation to ensure that the user has actually made the request. This can help ensure the authenticity of the usage and make sure an app is not under attack. This is similar to double-checking that someone has opted-in to an email list; it’s an expected step that most consumers are willing to comply with to boost security.
2. Make sure data is encrypted everywhere
All app users’ data should be encrypted. Obviously, this includes sensitive information, such as financial data and tax information. Usernames, email addresses and other identifying information must also be encrypted. Remember that any app can be hacked, including yours.
3. Message users if the app is opened with a different device
Many times, when an app is hacked, it will be opened with a device other than the one that the user signed up with. While this can happen legitimately — a user gets a new phone, for example, or borrows a friend’s to access a needed app — it’s vital to let your users know when it happens. Depending on the type of data your app gathers and uses, consider having a second security verification step in these situations. It adds a minute to the login process, but it gives your users peace of mind.
4. Offer extra authentication for users who want it
While your basic app might be free or offered at a low price, you can create a more secure app with an extra factor of authentication. This has two benefits: One, your customers can choose the extra security if they feel they need it, and two, you have a way of raising your price by adding an extra service. This is a win-win situation.
5. Be ever vigilant for ways you can increase your app’s security
Times, they are a changing. With constant updates in technology, in malware, and in the way that hackers perform their dirty deeds, you can’t afford to become complacent. Always be aware of different avenues that those with nefarious intentions are using to gain your customers’ sensitive information, and strive to be at least one step ahead of them.
Keeping your consumers’ information safe is something that’s expected of you if you design apps. One newsworthy hack can set you and your product back substantially, so it’s not only the ethical thing, but also the most financially sound thing, to do. Take the extra steps in the development phases to ensure better security, and it will pay off in dividends later.