One of the reasons why I ended up switching over from a long line of Android smartphones to Apple’s iPhone was because of a perceived notion that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) provided a safer, more secure environment. After all, who wants to constantly worry that a hacker may steal their personal information or that the application that they downloaded is not an “official” app at all?
Me, like so many of my colleagues and friends, have a perception that Apple provides a much safer environment, due to the closed nature of the iOS operating system and the fact that Apple is known for their diligent work in ensuring only the best and most secure applications ever make it to their app store. This holiday shopping season is proving to go against these beliefs, and in doing so, has made myself and others a bit skeptical about the security of iDevices in general.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has begun alerting consumers that those apps which you may be accessing on your smartphone, specifically for online retail outlets, may not actually be the retailers’ official apps, and might just be bogus apps created by scammers and con artists. The purpose of these bogus apps range from generalized hoaxes created just to get a laugh, to serious credit card scams looking to trick consumers into providing their credit card details. Other bogus apps put malware on users’ smartphones, allowing scammers to gain access to personal information and potentially more.
Apple has been trying their best to remove any fake apps that they detect, but even with their diligent efforts, many are being downloaded before any detection and removal is made. The con artists are essentially tricking the system, by simply getting a legitimate app approved, and then once its approved, modifying it to escape Apple detection.
Apple, as a publisher of third party content is not legally liable for the content published on the app store, but it obviously is in their best interest to try their best to make the app store feel safe to its customers. Otherwise the company may lose the confidence of the smartphone industry as being the creators of the most secure and safe devices on the market.
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