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Web & App Development

How to Secure Mobile Apps with SSL Certificates?

Mobile Apps with SSL Certificates

It would be difficult to think about life without the convenience of mobile apps. You get to do everything from your mobile phone, wherever you are. Industry reports indicate that over 5 billion people own mobile phones. We can only expect the numbers to get much higher if the trends are anything to go by. It therefore only makes sense why there are so many developers coming up with mobile apps every single day. Consider the last time you had to do something like go to the banking hall, for example. Now you can carry out your transactions anytime, anywhere, using a mobile app. New mothers have apps that tell them all the information they need about their little ones. The healthcare sector is also benefiting from different apps. But what is the flip side to all this?

Mobile Security

Every time you download an app onto your phone, you share tons of confidential information. Your banking app, for example, requires you to share information such as personal addresses and account details. But, do you ever take some time to think about what you could be exposing yourself to. Do you ever think about your privacy and data-security every time you log into an app? It may come as a surprise, but many people do not think. The truth is you do not know where your information is going and have full trust that the developer will safeguard your data.

It is critical that you take the appropriate steps to safeguard yourself while online. Installing an SSL certificate or code signing certificate is one such step.

 Mobile App Threats

Mobile app threats

Anytime you use your mobile app, you could be exposing yourself to multiple threats. MITM (Man in The Middle) Attacks are most common amongst mobile apps due to the lack of SSL validation. Such include:-

  • Malware that will make changes to your phone, thus giving hackers access to your information
  • Spyware which are applications that will spy on your information
  • Privacy threats that provide access to your location, usage history among others
  • Vulnerabilities that hackers  can manipulate to get access to your phone

Mobile App Security Measures

1. Code Signing Certificate

A code signing certificate will protect against malware and phishing attacks through the use of digital signatures. You get privacy and security against anyone who wants to steal your personal information. The code-signing ensures encryption for your data, thereby making it secure. You can share content over the internet without being afraid that someone will hack the information. It also assures the receiver that the developer or author of the data is trustworthy and legitimate. You get a stamp of authentication because it displays your name and website, showing that no third party has intercepted and changed the information in any way. It assures that the code of a mobile app is not altered since it is signed. A user will not face any security warning while downloading a mobile app or software.

On some of the bigger platforms such as the Windows marketplace, it is a requirement that developers implement code-signing. They use it for validation purposes, and to ensure that there has been no modification to the code. 

2. Installing an SSL Certificate

SSL install

The use of SSL certificates has significantly risen over the years. the application is not as prevalent on mobile phones. Most of the apps give a sign for https – a secured domain, or the padlock symbol. It is, however, critical that developers take the necessary steps to safeguard the information they collect from users. Unfortunately, as many as 60% of developers do not pay attention to these security measures.  

SSL certificates are essential for providing such protection. Depending on the type of SSL certificate and your needs, you can get protection for multiple websites or subdomains, thereby making it safe for you to use mobile apps. You get a badge of approval, which assures users that the platform is secure.

App developers need to install SSL certificates, especially for payment Gateways.  It protects user information through data encryption.  Users of the app will be happy to know the developer has taken this particular step.  It leads to trust and confidence amongst customers.

Why You Need the Right SSL Protection

Some developers will take the necessary steps to install an SSL certificate to protect the users. However, if they do not do it correctly, it could lead to problems. Some of the mistakes they make include not checking what type of SSL certificate they are using.  They could also be using obsolete certificates or even ignoring errors showing there is a security problem. Improper implementation leads to security issues such as insecure data storage, data leaks, untrustworthy inputs, SSL issues, and weak server controls.

Final Thoughts

The mobile app market is robust, and it will keep thriving. Customers are always looking for convenience and they will positively receive anything that offers it. It is critical that the app development industry players must take the security of customer data more seriously. Installing an SSL certificate especially, a code signing certificate is a crucial step to enhancing online and app privacy. There is still a lot of work the industry need to do with regards to coming up with solutions that work on the mobile platform. Developers must also be taken to task so that they can enhance the security measures they have in place to protect their customers. With only 40% complying, there is still a lot that the industry needs to do. 

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