Monday, May 20, 2013

The importance of smartphone security awareness

I have posted prior on the issue of smartphone security.  And one of the biggest issues related to this is how many people who have smartphones are sadly not aware of the need to be secure.  I guess we could say there is a lack of security awareness when it comes to smartphones.  This issue is made more difficult by people making the claim that smartphones are "more secure" then PCs (whatever that means), and that somehow people don't need to be as security minded about their smartphones like they are with their PCs, especially if its a personal phone.

I'm sorry, but I find that an irresponsible attitude.

A list I saw of data on a typical smartphone has:
  • corporate & personal e-mail
  • contacts (phone, sometimes email, sometimes also physical address)
  • bank info
  • instant message logs
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Credit card info
  • Location & GPS data
  • Health info
  • Calender & schedule information
  • Username/password info for other systems
Now, I can say that on my phone, I have a lot of that, tho not all.  After all, this is just a typical data set.  Some will have all, some, or a little of this.

But regardless, you should want to secure this.  And things have evolved.  My first smartphone had very little of this.  As I got newer smartphones and started to use them more, the amount and types of data increased.

As I said, there is an issue with raising awareness of the need for smartphone security, or just being sensible about security.

As an example, I took a look at some of those big smartphone magazines they have in the bookstores, aimed at new users, as well as one of the "Dummies" books, to see what they recommended for securitry measures.

The only recommendation was to be sure to have a screen lock, so no one could steal your contact info.

Uh, that's it?  And only to protect your contact info?

And were there any recommendations for security software to install?  Say any anti-malware or similar?  Any best practices, like not using open WiFi for sensitive stuff?

Nope.  Nothing.

Seems the attitude is that if you're not a corporate user, security isn't something you need to worry about.  Lovely.  With the "post PC" world we are entering, not good.

1 comment:

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