Is your new smartphone a security nightmare?

Is your new smartphone a security nightmare?

One of the most important devices in our lives today is the Smartphone.  Whether it be the Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S5, maybe a new Blackberry Passport or the myriad of other Smartphone devices out there today, almost all of us have come to rely heavily on these little gadgets.  But, are they safe?

 

Not JUST a phone!!

We read the latest sports scores, check the weather, and look up details a new movie or restaurant.  Personally, I don't care who knows that my favorite team is the Maple Leafs!

BUT - we also buy concert tickets, do online banking, trade on the stock market, read important business emails, select & send e-transfers, all of which are very confidential transactions, requiring the upmost security.

In fact, we increasingly TALK on the phone less, and less

We take for granted that all of this highly confidential information is not stored in a bank vault, it's in our pockets, being carried around all day long.  How can we be sure that we are protecting ourselves?

Recently with the release of IOS version 8, Apple has taken strides in the right direction to protect it's users.  ALL data on a iPhone (running IOS 8) is now 100% encrypted.  Apple is claiming at today's technology level's it would take over 5 years for a computer to crack their encryption algorithms.

Likewise, Android device users users have a similar option, however it is a check box you need to enable.  IN FACT it's been there for several years & software generations already, but again you must enable the encryption feature for it to protect you.

To enable - go into your phone's settings menu, scroll down to the security option, and enable the checkbox that says "encrypt device".  It may take a few hours to complete if you have a lot of data on the device already.

For you Windows Phone fans, you are in luck also.  Microsoft now includes Bitlocker encryption on their mobile platform too.  However, you do need to set a PIN code or device lock of some sort first.

Lastly, and MOST IMPORTANT, Always secure your smartphone with a pin/lock of some type.

Leading edge phones like the iPhone, or Galaxy S5 now have fingerprint encryption, which is your best choice.  A good second best is a 4 digit pin, or a password lock design. 

If you don't have a pin code of some sort setup, you are just asking to be hacked!  It takes only a few seconds to enable, and things like the fingerprint authentication or a swipe pattern are very fast to use, so you are not bothered by them at all.

And remember, a good security program starts first with you.  Don't give out your PIN code to anyone, treat it just like your bank card.  None of us want to have our data, or financial information compromised.

 

Thanks for reading!!

 

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