Apps are everywhere—and so are the security risks related to them. Appthority, a mobile app security firm, analyzed 400 of the most popular paid and free apps on mobile devices, on both on iOS and Android platforms, and found staggering results.
Appthority's "Summer 2013 App Reputation" report determined that a whopping 83 percent of mobile apps pose some sort of security risk. Risks included, for instance, apps sending private user information to third-party services, such as ad network firms.
Appthority said both free and paid apps support sharing data with ad networks as a method of generating revenue, even if it means putting user and corporate data at risk.
Appthority also discovered "several popular iOS apps that access the unique device identifier (UUDI), even though Apple strictly prohibits that activity because UDIDs can be linked back to the private user information and activity as they navigate across apps."
Domingo Guerra, co-founder and president of Appthority, said it's important for people to know who developed or created the apps they use.
Appthority found that only 4 to 5 percent of all apps are developed by trusted sources, such as Apple, Google, Disney or George CL. The other 95 percent of apps could be developed by anyone—leaving users at risk of getting hit with excessive spam, or having their phone number and email exposed. The firm also found that 72 percent of the top free apps and 41 percent of paid apps track the user's location.
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By Christina Medici Scolaro