Posts Tagged ‘mobile-phones’

Are Smart Phones a Privacy Threat?

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

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.

Online Privacy: Why You Need It and How to Get It

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

There is something about being online that makes people feel that they have more freedom and capabilities, and that is because most of the time, users are hidden (somewhat) under the veil of anonymity.

This is no longer really true, the fact alone that a majority of people use mobile phones to access the internet is a big sign that being the unknown person on the other end of the keyboard is a notion of the past.

Social networking alone is often enough to give people cause for alarm. Details such as birth, previous educational history, the mother’s maiden name and even the information about a favorite pet could be easily found in online services such as Facebook. If this is not reason enough to be worried, then users should also remember that they might have added in that random person just so they can have one more additional friend for Farmville or some other game.

So what does one do? The simple rules are still the best to follow. First up, do not answer spam emails and scams and be sure to label them as such. Email service providers track spam tags to help them with making filters –further protecting current users from such malicious online content.

Another important thing to watch out for is to avoid clicking on links that seem suspicious. Never click an advertisement for a product, simply Google the official website for that merchandise and start from there. Many web scams rely on creating alternative sites that mine for information.

It has been strongly suggested that users of social networking sites do not use a real name. More often than not, a nickname or familiar net handle would suffice among friends (who would know that information in the first place). And most importantly, be sure to add only people whom you can trust with information else not write down anything that could be used against you.