A seemingly innocuous message could be all that is needed to compromise your privacy
Today’s millennial is born into technology and see it as a requirement and not a luxury. Smartphone has become integral to our existence—our personal secret keeper—safe-keeping significant amount of personal and professional information such as our personal to the moment data and photos, bank details, emails, passwords etc. In the wake of several privacy and information breach incidents, the big question glaring at us all is – “are our secrets really a secret anymore?” One is probably monitored by half a dozen companies from the moment they open their eyes in the morning until they go to sleep; and if you own a sleep tracker, then probably while you sleep too! A seemingly innocuous message could be all that is needed to compromise your privacy – by say, accessing microphone, call logs, locations, bank details and everything that is yours! Here’s how:
Geotracking: Most smartphones are continuously sharing details of your location—with or without your permission. Yes, at times it is convenient for the user to find their way or locate a lost or stolen phone. But the misuse of the same could be far scarier. Thanks to Geotracking, the map application in one’s devices keeps copious notes on one’s location and, it is stored in the cloud, where it can theoretically be subpoenaed by law enforcement or accessed by a suspicious partner who happens to know your password. BlackBerry smartphones come preloaded with DTEK security app that helps users to configure their device for optimal security and provide visibility into how applications are accessing their personal data.
Malicious apps: Many times during installation of an app, unsuspecting user allow the new app to access location, media files, and many other information, that is not needed for that particular app. For example, flashlight—one of the most commonly used application – may have access to a shocking amount of user data, everything from your calendar to your phone’s location engine to your camera. This can be tracked and corrected simply through the privacy controls on BlackBerry smartphone, but the user need to be aware. One should download apps from reputable sources only.
Your camera could be watching you: Kevin Mitnick, the American computer security consultant, author, and hacker claims smartphones cameras can be used to spy on its users by either installing software on the phone via physical access or via a remote exploitation. So now you know, why the top officials of CIA keep their camera lenses taped when not in use? Therefore, what you need is unequivocal security and privacy feature on your smartphone.
The good news here is that hardware makers, such as Optiemus Infracom—that is the official licensing partner for BlackBerry devices in India—understands the magnitude of this issue and is addressing it by introducing high on security and privacy BlackBerry device. Don’t let fear compromise your smartphone experience, but be smart when it comes to privacy and security.
The writer is executive director, Optiemus Infracom