Smartphones are more than just mobile phones. A smartphone is a device with built-in functions of a personal digital assistant – a miniature personal computer. They have revolutionized our on the go lives. However with the prevalence of smartphones and all the benefits they bring, there is also a dark side to these devices. In spirit of the Halloween season, here are 3 of the scariest things about your smartphone:
Privacy is Thin
The scariest part of owning a smartphone is that very little information contained in its memory is actually kept private. Though the policies of the internet and service providers often differ, most of them comprise a provision for accessing the information of their users from any corner of the world. Over the years, the news has been full of stories about smartphones loaded with secret software that follows our every move and can easily track keystrokes.
If you own a smartphone, you should know that you’ve basically given up a good chunk of your privacy. Your cellular carrier already has a record of every number you’ve dialed, every SMS you’ve sent, every website you’ve visited, and every place you’ve ever been too. 99% of the apps available on the market access your data for various reasons – make sure the app is worthwhile before approving unnecessary access to your data.
Viruses & Malware
Although viruses and malware on smartphones are less prevalent than that of a personal computer, smartphone viruses do in fact exist. However, the vast number of smartphone viruses usually attack jail-broken or modified devices. According to Craig Rosewarne, MD at Wolfpack and founder and chairman at Information Security Group of Africa, “The latest mobile malware statistics are alarmingly high, especially for Android, because it is an open platform.”
Rosewarne also states that while Android has the global market share, the platform is also responsible for 97% of mobile threats detected in 2013. Referencing the latest mobile threat report from online security company F-Secure, he says more than 100,000 variants of malware were found on Android during 2013. “No new malware was found for BlackBerry, iOS or Window.” Rosewarne also warns the public of some “seriously scary” malware out there, this includes strains that can compromise sensitive information, like bank information.
We have seen a rise in financial transactions from mobile devices. Whether it is something as simple as sending funds via PayPal, or something more elaborate like scanning checks via your smartphone for bank deposits, never before has money so freely been transferred digitally. That is a scary thing. Just one wrong decimal place, one bug in some software could clear out your account.
Is your mobile payment system secure? Banks invest a lot of money into their security to prevent such potential hacking and cellular encryption technologies have made it far more difficult for casual criminals to hacks passwords or information by listening to radio traffic. But as the saying goes, there is no system that is foolproof. When money is “only digital”, that is a definite risk. If you go with digital, you are placing yourself firmly on “the grid”, with the ability to be monitored, tracked, and even hacked.
With the advent of Apple’s mobile payment system known as Apple Pay, digital payments will surge in 2015. It utilizes the NFC transmission system, which has been proven to be vulnerable in the past. Apple’s iCloud was recently hacked, which means it is only a matter of time before hackers target Apple Pay.
Protect Your Bubble specializes in safe guarding everything in your life, including your smartphone and identity with our protection plans. We also offer Snap Secure, a free mobile security app, free with our Identity Theft protection plan.