IMSI-catchers are devices that are presumably used by government agencies to wiretap the mobile phones of people under surveillance. Then why should regular, law-abiding citizens be worried about them? Well, because it is not just governments that have a monopoly on using IMSI-catchers anymore. There are, however, measures one can take to counter them.
The factory reset function of Android smartphones is supposed to delete all apps, files, and settings from the device and restore it to an out-of-the-box state. The process, however, is flawed and leaves a door to recover data. This is why we created the Secure Wipe app for our encrypted communication devices, Secure Phone.
Encrypting your communications guarantees anyone who intercepts them will not be able to read your messages. But what about the data that stays on your device? Chat histories, contacts, stored files, etc. – all possibly sensitive information. This is where device encryption and remote wipe come in to protect your stored data.
Smartphones sure are handy. They come with all the functionality one could want from a device – constant internet connection, web browsing, all you favorite social media pages, a camera, map apps that help you find your way. What else could one want? Well, privacy and security. Each of the beforementioned Android functionalities comes with a set of vulnerabilities and expands the device’s attack surface. Here’s why you might be better off without them.
No matter what kind of Android phone you use, it is hard to escape Google’s presence. It is embedded in the OS your phone runs, and through it in every app you use. Google Services provide supplemental functionality to the various third-party apps running on your phone. And while there are plenty of cool and useful features Google Services make possible, they are undoubtedly a plague for one thing – privacy.
It is common wisdom that passwords are a very ineffective method for authentication. They can be brute-forced or guessed in a dictionary attack. So why use a password to lock your phone? Because the lock pattern and the common four-digit PIN are way weaker. So, what is the most reliable way to lock a phone? Here’s a rundown of the methods and why you better stick with passwords.
Mobile devices are no longer the future – they are the reigning kings of the present. October 2016 marked the tipping point, at which mobile devices accounted for a bigger share of Internet usage than desktop computers. Close to 2 billion people use mobile devices to access the Internet. Google has already reported mobile searches surpassing desktop ones by some 10 percentage points – and that its search algorithm will start favoring mobile sites. Not to mention that marketing and ad spending is already shifted towards mobile. But what does this brave new world mean for mobile security?
Your phone knows an awful lot about you. Your location, your bank account, the names of all your contacts, the passwords to all your accounts… You name it. And different apps on it have access, and permissions, to transmit this data to God knows who. You may trust the manufacturer of your phone has put only software on it that respects your privacy. But what about third-party apps that have the same permissions? And what if you have no idea how these apps got on your phone?
Encryption might sound like something just hackers, spies, and criminals use. And yeah, those groups of people probably do use it. But this doesn’t mean they are the only ones that have a good reason to do so. You might be thinking that when you have nothing to hide, there’s no need to worry. You couldn’t be more wrong.
The sound of you typing on a keyboard could be not just annoying to those in the same room with you – it could actually be revealing as to what you are writing. And the ones listening to it could not even be in the same room.