Roughly 65% of Americans own smartphones, and the rising demand for these devices has created a lucrative market for thieves. Last year alone 3.1 million smartphones were reported as stolen.

What risks does this pose for the owner, though? Linking personal information (credit card information, contact information, etc.) to mobile applications facilitates fraudulent charges, leakage of sensitive content, and in extreme cases can lead to identity theft. For example, one app might store a password that acts as the password to a number of other accounts. Bundling account information is risky business, and it’s important to be aware of what information your mobile apps are storing.

Because of BYOD, lost devices pose a risk not only to the device owner, but also their place of work.

Sensitive corporate information that resides on the device side-by-side with the users’ data can also be easily compromised due to lost devices.

This brings us to the kill switch issue, or the ability to remotely wipe personal and corporate data from a stolen phone, which effectively renders the mobile device useless. Defendants of the switch argue that being able to wipe a stolen device will reduce both physical and cyber crime. Opponents say that this technology could cause widespread security risks if it were to fall into the hands of ne’er do well hackers. However, last month opponents ceded some ground, and starting July 2015 all phones will be manufactured with this baseline security measure.

In other news, Appthority’s president and co-founder Domingo Guerra has been talking about ransomware, this month, and he stresses caution on downloading apps – even from trusted sources:

“On the app store side, ransomware is one more threat to be looking for. More analysis is required to detect malware because it can be embedded within the application. Many folks think they’re safe sticking to Google Play, but a recommendation for another app may take you to another app site that isn’t trusted. However, even reliable app stores have had malware sneak into their markets. The developer may have built their program using an SDK that has malware hidden within the framework.”

Safeguard your privacy with the largest global database of analyzed public and private apps from a worldwide network of sources. Appthority’s App Risk Management service employs static and dynamic analysis to discover the true behavior of apps and measure their total risk within minutes. Catch the malware that a signature based approach will miss to ensure a safe and secure mobile workforce.

Thoughts or comments on this week’s news? Reach the Appthority team on Twitter at @Appthority or click to tweet this post.