February 4, 2019 Last updated February 22nd, 2019 2,656 Reads share

Secret Tips for Developing Safe and Secure Android Mobile Apps

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‘Safety is gainful, but its breaching is painful’

This is the villainy virtual world where thieves hide behind ‘No-Name’ identity and are hard to trace. What would you say if any android mobile application unethically intrudes? Are all android applications secure? There is no question about the Android mobile OS becoming a dominant force in the smartphones world. But it is also the most susceptible to malware, and the most fragmented. If you wish to use the OS on tablets or mobiles for business, security will always be No.1 priority. Certainly, there are security tips and hacks that will make the apps more secure and reliable mobile operating system.

‘Be Alert. Expect the unexpected. Safety has its side effects.’

Security is a “Critical and Crucial” concern when developing mobile applications; and for Android, this will be a more vital thing to consider. It’s apparent that Android is a dominating platform with nearly 82.8% of the market share in the year 2015. With such fame, the risk of being attacked by hackers also increases. So, security is a significant concern in Android mobile application development. This will not only make the app stand out in the crowd but also assures the invulnerability of it. It is quite obvious that the popular platform Android OS comes with several in-built features that decrease such security issues, it is beneficial to know and learn the practices which help to develop impregnable Android Mobile apps that aren’t vulnerable to the security threats. Thus, it will also help in app store optimization. Doubling and tripling the benefits, therefore.

As reputation supersedes everything else, security precedes promises & credentials. In Android Mobile Application Development, OS occurs with a default mechanism that allows for building apps with file permissions and also to avoid difficult security issues. There are certain loopholes that developers should take care of. By understanding and thoroughly interpret these Loopholes, it will be pretty easy to diminish the security measures involved with android mobile app development. We hope these ‘Effective Eight’ tips will be of good help in serving that purpose.

1.Validating the Input fields
Developers should not foresee the threats that occur from client side injection. In any android mobile application which accepts input, this terror is a vital factor as any malicious code which is passed through a text field as input to the apps can interrupt its full-functioning. Therefore, while going for Android app development, it becomes mandatory for the developers to have a security testing checklist for validating all the input fields. There are few technologies like DEP and ASLR, reduces the impact of such issues on the apps developed.

2. Data Leakage
Data leaks are major issues when developers fail to realize that their app information may be accessible to other apps as well or is being stored in some other devices elsewhere. ‘Threat modeling’ during testing phase ensures that no sensitive data is being copied while mobile application development. You should be careful of what the application stores on the mobile device.

3. Weak Server
Today, it is feasible that data from the application servers can be hacked. How can the response action occurring between the app and the server be tampered? It is because most of these applications are based on APIs like REST or SOAP API. For this, just an API requester will suffice. So, while developing an Android application, it is advised to use secure coding practices at the server end.

5. Requesting Permissions
We recommend minimizing the number of permissions that your app requests. Not having access to sensitive permissions reduces the risk of inadvertently misusing those permissions, can improve user adoption, and makes your app less vulnerable to attackers.

6. Avoid exporting components
In order to minimize the attack possibility, avoid exporting components except when necessary. You can use intent filters, but these cannot be completely relied upon for complete protection of exported components. This is because a crafted intent that uses fully qualified component names has the tendency to bypass intent filters.

7. Use encrypted communication:
For SSL/TLS use, it is always advisable to use encrypted communication with the backend application server. Since 1024-bit key length is now a weaker method of encryption, all certificates must have a 2048-bit key length. Ex: ‘Certificate Pinning’- Trendy practice in mobile application development currently.

8. ‘No-Storing’ sensitive data:
Want to dissuade hackers or discourage them? Avoid storing sensitive data on the android device during run time. Store the password securely in KeyStore for Android. Data that is needed should be encrypted on the device. The idea is to process data in case of need and delete it immediately when not needed.

Smartphones have come to define us by our online identity and as such should be treated with care and secured against Online (hacking) or Offline (stolen). Though it’s quite not Cyberbullying, it is a serious matter. If you are not careful, then your social media accounts, your synchronized files, valuable documents, emails, pictures, and messages, etc., are at risk. It should be invulnerable and impenetrable. Your entire information will be traced if you are not careful enough. There is no one sitting especially for you to protect your precious data, than you. Only you have to worry about it and be cautious.

Apart from following the effective eight steps, there are sealed/sure factors that if counted and muted will benefit the development of Android mobile apps. Few elements are:

  • Disable app downloads from unknown sources
  • Download an anti-malware app
  • Upgrade to Android 3.0 or above
  • Do not connect to unsecured, unknown Wi-Fi networks
  • Keep all sensitive data behind an extra encryption layer
  • Install a remote wipe/lock app
  • Use the Chrome browser
  • Put a lock on your lock screen

These are minute dimensions but minor elements often consequence into massive destruction. So better to keep those small factors invulnerable.  Android packed phones exceeded 1 billion units in the sale by 2016 end. This is much higher than iOS (192.7 million). The android apps store has around 1.6 million apps, which makes android mobile apps development a flourishing and expanding business around the world. Yes, we are talking about the security of all those apps. The security of all the users who are using this application considering it very safe. It’s all about safeguarding and virtually protecting the whole Android Mobile Application Development.

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Alfred Beiley

Alfred Beiley

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