As enticing as a given personal finance or money-related software application might be for smartphone and tablet computer users, it may also pose a considerable security risk. A study conducted by the security firm Viaforensics in Illinois found that about 25 percent of "apps" falling into this category had some kind of problem with data security, according to TG Daily.
The news source reported that the security firm used a complex testing algorithm to assess the security – or lack thereof – in personal finance apps.
The issue of keeping information safe when using mobile devices is particularly vital where personal finance is concerned, as apps providing services of that variety often require storing bank account and routing numbers, credit card information and other sensitive data.
Prominent financial apps that failed the Viaforensics test included Square, Wikinvest and Mint. A total of 31 percent of the remaining programs received a dubious security assessment, and 44 percent passed the test. The security firm detailed specific failings in a report.
"On some financial apps we were able to recover payment history, partial credit card numbers and other transaction-related data," the report stated, according to the news source.
The Guardian recently reported that in June 2011, the average mobile device user in the U.S. spent approximately 81 minutes a day using a wide variety of apps.