“There’s an app for that.” How many times have you heard that phrase? Mobile apps are ubiquitous, having become an essential part of almost every aspect of our lives. They store our private data. They track our children. They monitor our homes. They analyze our fitness vitals, down to our literal pulses.
We download them to our phones and tablets to play games, listen to music, and watch our shows on-the-go. We use them to organize our calendars and manage our finances. Whole businesses have been established and fortunes made (and lost) on the thriving app industry. And companies like yours often have apps made to create more positive brand experiences, building your mobile footprint, providing free promotion, and helping you offer higher value to your customers base.
But as with any industry, there is a dark side to apps—those who would abuse people’s trust and reliance on convenient apps for their own profit.
This is a new form of digital fraud that is gaining ground in just the past few years. It’s scarily simple to pull off, too. Someone just needs to build a seemingly harmless app, stick your logo on it, and put it up for free. Then, when your customers download it, thinking it’s a fun bonus from your company, you and they both suffer from one or more of the following:
- Data Theft – Identity theft is selling ill-gotten private data has practically reached epidemic proportions today. Cyber-criminals are always looking for new ways to snatch info from unsuspecting victims, and your database of customer details is a tempting target. They just need your clientele’s account logins or other authorizations, and it’s not hard to secure those with fake apps bearing your trusted logo.
- Brand Impersonation – Criminals pretending to represent your company can use unauthorized apps to communicate with your customers, sending them SMS messages or emails or contacting them via social media to offer fraudulent products and services or solicit sensitive information they can use to operate many other scams. Your company is then left holding the blame for any harm done.
- Financial Loss – If your company is running any sort of online transactions through mobile apps, customer credit card numbers, PIN numbers, and similar can be stolen via fake apps masquerading as a legitimate business. Your business could also be exposed to ransomware, with your network encrypted and literally held hostage until you pay a hacker’s demands.
To defend against this sort of heinous activity, you need to be proactive. Otherwise, it’s likely you’ll end up scrambling to recover from a trashed brand reputation, lose once-loyal customers, or pay unwanted legal fees to compensate for illegal operations performed under your company name. What are steps you can take to prevent this? One big one is to bring on a service that monitors for either unauthorized copies of your existing apps available for download through third-party sites, or for potentially malicious apps posted to legitimate sites.
If anything is spotted, you can then take the proper action to get those rogue apps removed before they do any significant or lasting damage. This active monitoring can also analyze how your brand is being represented and how it might be targeted by unsavory types, letting you have defensive strategies in place before any active threat surfaces. And a team of mobile app experts can assist you in removing rogue apps without detracting from your time and resources, so you can remain focused on running your business rather than trying to stamp out a bunch of little “fires.”
FraudWatch International knows how to spot this kind of app-based crime within moments, and our team of experts is positioned to step in and defend your brand against unauthorized app distribution.
Learn more about our Mobile Apps Security service and take critical steps towards rogue mobile app protection.