Are Smart Phones a Privacy Threat?


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Smart phone technology has allowed us to become more reliant on these mobile devices than we have ever thought possible. While it may not seem that we store anything truly delicate on our iPhones and our HTC Desires, a closer look reveals that losing a smart phone is akin to showing off to the world a lot more important things than you ever thought possible. So if you think that losing a smart phone is not an issue, here’s a quick look at why such an event could be very, very bad.

First off, your contact list: this little bit of information is particularly tough to have in someone else’s hands. From the onset, the entire list could be sold to marketers and similar groups –often with the sad result of the people in the list receiving an avalanche of advertisements and spam. Thanks to the fact that contacts lists now have provisions for the name, phone number, email and even physical address, you might want to think twice about letting the entire world know where some of your most special friends live.

If you use the browser or a social networking app, then chances are, you have your own account names, emails and your passwords stored in the device as well. This could open up a lot of sensitive information and all your passwords may be opened by really skilled hackers.

GPS information may not seem like a big deal, but in reality, it exposes your everyday routes, favorite stores, where you live, where you work and even which pubs you prefer to relax in. Add in location based features such as Foursquare and any stalker will be happy to have an hour studying your phone’s vast wealth of information.

Media is another issue as well. Since most phones have cameras, it is not too uncommon that folks would have pictures of that wild drinking spree last Halloween in their mobile phones –and none would be too happy to see it made available to everyone online.

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