ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ruin Your IT Security? There's an App for That!

Updated on January 9, 2018
tamarawilhite profile image

Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, an industrial engineer, a mother of two, and a published sci-fi and horror author.


There's a running joke that no matter what you want to do, there's an app for that. Unfortunately, when it comes to IT security, many apps introduce security risks or downright security holes that we often fail to appreciate.

Which apps are the greatest risks to your IT security?

In many cases, you cannot remove the virus from a smartphone without wiping the device.
In many cases, you cannot remove the virus from a smartphone without wiping the device. | Source

Remote Desktop Apps

Sites like GotoMyPC are legitimate, well tested remote desktop applications. Remote desktop applications are convenient, letting you access another PC and its files. This is why hackers love them, too. Stick to legitimate, big name remote desktop apps or avoid them altogether.

Apps for connecting to your PC remotely open the door for others to do so, as well.
Apps for connecting to your PC remotely open the door for others to do so, as well. | Source

3rd Party Phone Services

Apps like Axtel Softphone and other VOIP apps seem like they are convenient. The problem is that they tend to have lower security standards than major ones like Skype. And Skype had a major security hole in 2012 that let anyone hack it as long as they knew your email address.

Password Storage Apps

Do you keep forgetting your passwords? Forget the security risk of having a yellow sticky note under the keyboard or in the desk drawer (yes, we know you put it there, sometimes). There's an app for password storage! Save all your passwords in one easy to find location.

Anyone who gets a hold of the device now has the passwords to imitate you on social media begging for money for their flight home from Aruba (to pay for their rent in Russia), drain your bank account, send themselves a donation via Paypal and post embarrassing images to Tumblr if they want to.

Don't forget the passwords saved in your browser; lax settings in your browser settings, failure to encrypt browser setting files where passwords are saved and using a generic password saved to the browser can compromise your personal security.

Ringtone Apps

Ringtone apps are a security threat! You can get some cool sound snippets for your phone using the apps. What's the problem? Ringtone apps frequently show up on the list of apps known to be Trojans for malware, while users are not as aware of the risk. Is getting a cool ringtone for free worth the risk of installing malware on your phone?

Show Me Where Apps

Apps such as those that let you reveal your location to your best friends or identifying where sex offenders live along your planned route introduce a security risk we rarely think about - your location. This doesn't seem like a security risk at first. Wouldn't you want the police to know where you are in an emergency? It sounds great until you realize that one of the most terrifying text messages in history was sent out during Ukraine's revolution, "Dear subscriber, you are registered as a participant in a mass riot."

It's hard to have a revolution when the authorities know exactly where you are and who you are, and can track you down via the device on which the revolution uses to stay organized or send someone to wait for you when you get back home. While Ukraine's example we can hope is a rare fascistic move to quell a rebellion, apps that reveal your location to anyone with access to the app's code or location information can track you down at a moment's notice, determine your routine or simply spy to their heart's delight. Let's hope it is just their heart and not something else.

Security Applications

With apps like Alarm Security all in one where you can add fingerprint scans and additional phone protections, what could go wrong? The apps over-ride the built in security functions, often introducing new ones holes or stealth vectors. Always beware of a security application that demands security over-rides or jailbreaking your phone.

Cloud Storage

When you save data on your device, the data remains on the device. It is accessible if someone manages to hack the device or if you leave it out and unlocked. When you save your data to the cloud, people could hack the device OR the cloud. Be wary of cloud storage services. It isn't as safe or as private as you like, and that's ignoring the NSA's belief that anything in the cloud is as public as the amorphous water droplets floating on the breeze.

Free Instant Messaging Services

Installing software that lets you send free instant messages is not only the act of installing software but one that increases the risk that someone will send you a literally viral message that mainstream (paid) services would block.

Scanning Apps

Scanning apps seem convenient. Scan that form and send it as a fax instead of hunting for a working fax machine. Scan your check and deposit it. And anyone who offers a free and fairly simple app to do just that can have all that information - from your medical records to your bank account information to your signature. Be wary of scanning apps.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)