SMARTPHONE SECU Siddharth Saoji
of the world population owns a mobile phone today and out of the 5 billion mobile phones in the world, 1.08 billion are smartphones. One interesting statistic is that Singapore has the largest percentage of smartphone penetration at 54%. With such abundant usage of smart devices leading to storage and transfer of massive amounts of (often critical) information through them, the perennial question of security remains vital. This article is an attempt to cover the simple steps a common smartphone user can take to maintain basic mobile security hygiene.
1. LOCK YOUR DEVICE.
2. DON’T TRUST (ALL) APPS.
Today, all smartphones come with a feature that gives the user the ability to lock his/her screen, so that some form of authentication would be required to get to the home screen of the phone after few minutes of inactivity. There are a number of mechanisms which make this feature convenient to use- for instance, a user can set up a traditional password or passcode, create a Photo from technewsplus.com visual pattern which has to be replicated to unlock the screen, or even use the front facing camera of the phone to recognize the persons face as a key to unlock the device. These locks can even go a step further in terms of functionality- the iPhone has a feature which will erase all data on the phone in the case of ten failed login attempts, while Android has a built-in feature to encrypt the data stored in your device.
Before downloading an app, check the permissions required for it to be installed. A board game app should not need access to text messaging, so if you see any apps requiring access to something it shouldn’t need, take the safer route and avoid installing it. Apps can push updates requesting more permissions at a later time as well, so don’t enable the automatically allow updates feature in your phone and monitor each update before applying it Photo from android-themes.com to the app. Furthermore, as far as possible, only install apps from vendors you trust. You can search for reviews of the app online for any reports of malicious activity involving it.
March 2013 issue of THE RIDGE - the largest student-run magazine in the National University of Singapore