The study takes a look at a variety of popular apps including Foursquare, Netflix, Skype and more. Both Android and iPhone’s pre-packaged email apps scored poorly, as well. These apps failed the study because of poor data storage including, among other things, unencrypted personal data and passwords.
Data storage is a concern on all mobile devices. If data on a smartphone is not properly secured, it can be easily accessed by anyone who has the phone. Given the portability of these devices, that’s an obvious risk. Accidently leaving your phone at a cash register or dropping it at work could give a stranger access to private information including your emails and social contacts.
Foursquare responded quickly by pushing an update patching the vulnerabilities found and Netflix stated that a security update is in the works.
What did score well? All of the banking apps tested passed, as did Paypal’s Android app, although the iPhone app earned a “warn” rating because potentially compromising information was stored. The Google Gmail App on iPhone (not to be confused with Gmail accessed via iPhone Mail) also passed, making it the most secure email app in the study.