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Smartphone Privacy Issues

Apr 22 2014, 5:24am CDT | by , in News | Mobile Phones

Smartphone Privacy Issues
 
 

Privacy is the top priority of many people and with today’s advanced technology, privacy doesn’t easily come by as putting a padlock on a notebook and stowing the key away. Now, people use lock codes, fingerprint scans, virtual patterns – all of which can be hacked in to or tampered with.

With users demanding a higher level of privacy for their devices, big companies have developed tools which can enhance this demand. Samsung was the first to come up with a more suitable lock screen device as opposed to the usual 4 or 6 digit code; with the creating of the on-screen pattern display. This was soon followed by fingerprint scanner, facial recognition, and even voice recognition. These were later on duplicated by Apple’s 5C and 5S but to a substandard quality.

Another privacy issue is with Apple’s synching mechanism available for users that have an iPhone paired with an iPad; it is easily understood as automatic duplication meaning that if someone were to take a picture with their iPhone, that picture would be saved there and on the iPad. This has raised privacy issues as the lock screen does not require presence in both devices. If someone were to leave their iPad at home and received a private message, the person left home would be able to gain access to that. Sort of like digital eavesdropping.

The following are a few tips to enhance phone privacy:

  • External accessories (http://shop.mobilenations.com/smartphone-flip-lid-cases.htm) – some people opt for casings with a flip top, mainly used to protect a phone screen from scratches. It can also serve as a way to stop people from reading over your shoulder, especially in crowded areas like rush hour on the trip home.  Also, some people use what is called a privacy screen protector. A new take on the traditional screen protector, this privacy feature prevents anyone from seeing your screen display unless the phone is directly in front of them.
  • Phone Lock (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.domobile.applock) – never use predictable lock codes such as 1,2,3,4 or that in reverse. Never use the year you were born either. Use a code that no one will guess. In pattern locking, make sure you make it intricate enough that no one could follow but still simple enough for you to remember.
  • Location Settings (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5467) – one cool feature of smartphones is its ability to tell your location. This may come in handy when you’re trying to track a child or if your phone gets stolen; but be careful if this setting is turned on as it has the capability of including your location to anyone you might text or in social media posts.
  • Be careful with file sharing (https://www.apple.com/ipad-air/features/includes/gallery-airdrop.html) – there are a few files either via e-mail or on social media that have a mechanism made by a skilled spammer. One click and it sends to all your friends. It is embarrassing and can be avoided by also avoiding links and messages from people you do not know.
If you value your privacy, be tactful enough to take care of your smartphone, especially if you are the type of person that uses it as a diary or a daily appointment book. 
 

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