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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : November 28, 2014


Brands: How to ensure rogue apps aren't damaging to you

There is danger in the app space for many brands. While consumers are using apps to connect and shop, there are unscrupulous types who put out rogue apps that can be damaging to legitimate businesses.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: How can brands ensure 'rogue' apps aren't damaging their brand?

Greg Mancusi-Ungaro, BrandProtect: It almost goes without saying that all rogue apps cause a brand some damage. They need to be found, understood and quickly mitigated.

When a rogue application is found, most companies will try to evaluate the app. In most cases, the best course of action is to take steps to have the infringing application removed from the store, or to have downloads disabled.

There is another kind of rogue app that is increasingly becoming a threat. This is an altered or tampered app. The scammer starts with a legitimate application from a trusted brand. They then alter the application so that it effectively becomes a container that includes their malicious code. Customers think that they are downloading the legitimate application, but, in fact, they are downloading an application that has been modified into a data stealing machine.

Usually, these "tampered" apps are only found on third-party or regional stores, but enterprising criminals will push traffic to these locations through social media and email campaigns.

Kristina: What steps can a retailer/brand take if they find a third-party/fraudulent app?

Greg: When an application is infringing on a brand, the brand owner (or the brand owner's agent) can take steps to have the app removed from the app store. With help from internal legal departments, or with the assistance of a brand protection partner, the required procedures can be initiated and followed through to conclusion. By removing the third-party applications, companies are taking direct action to secure their brand in the market.

Of course, there are some cases where a company finds a third-party app and says, "I wish we had written that!" In that case, companies can reach out to the application vendor to create a partnership.

But, no matter how an incident ends, only good things happen when a company takes brand protection seriously. They are ensuring that positive customer experiences are maintained when customers are using apps that carry the company's brand and that their market messages and efforts are not diluted or confused by third parties.






Image via Shutterstock

Tags: appvertising, BrandProtect, mobile marketing, mobile safety, retail app trends








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