Did You Know 2022

Socially Engineered Security Risks Series

Did You Know That Reviewing Security and Privacy Settings is Crucial When Installing and Signing Up For New Mobile Apps?

Authored by David Carroll 

We take the apps we run on our mobile phones and tablets for granted. We log in, share photos, add personal information, and allow the apps to track our locations. But have you ever taken the time to review the types of data you share with those apps and what the companies may be doing with the data?

Behind every mobile app are servers hosted in the cloud, with copies of all the data you shared stored in a database or file storage system. In most cases, this data stays secured and protected.

Unfortunately, many app developers are small start-ups that do not have the resources or time to ensure they are implementing the best security controls. They may also be storing that information outside of Australia, meaning they may not adhere to Australian laws and regulations concerning your information. A good example here is the concerns with Tik Tok

With breaches occurring daily, there is much at stake in today’s interconnected world; data privacy is essential for every business and individual. Therefore, reviewing mobile application security and privacy is crucial when installing and signing up for new mobile apps.

Before You Install an App

When you download apps, they ask permission to access personal information like contacts, your location, or even your camera. They may need this information to make the app work, but they may also share it with other companies.


Privacy On Apps You Have Installed

Suppose an app is already on your phone or tablet. In that case, you can still do some things to protect your privacy: it’s essential to know about privacy settings on apps.


What Are Apple and Google Doing to Enhance Security and Privacy?


Beginning October 3, 2018, Apple has made it mandatory that all new or updated apps have a Privacy Policy regardless of whether or not the app collects personal information. If a mobile app is listed on Apple’s App Store, it must abide by Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines.

Before you install the app, you can review the app’s policy and how that data could be used to track or link you. Apple is also planning to introduce new features where you can ask the app not to track you.


You can read more about Apple’s requirements for security and privacy here on their developer page. 


The Google Play Developer Distribution agreement states that if app developers must make their product/app available through the Google Play store, they must:

  • Protect the privacy and legal rights of users
  • Make users aware that personal information will be used by the app
  • Provide legally adequate privacy notice and protection for those users

Like with Apple, you can check the app’s privacy policy before installing it.


A Mobile App is Just A Better Interface For a Website

When using apps on your mobile phone, remember that an app is often just a smaller and customised interface for accessing a website on your phone. The risks with your data are the same as if you went to that site and shared the same information. The risks to your privacy, though, are often more significant as your mobile phone tracks your physical location, can store personal and sensitive information and can be easily lost.

If you are worried about the security of your pharmacy systems and want to know you can improve your pharmacy security, speak to your Corum Customer Success Manager or contact us on 1300 669 865.