Mobile users scared that their personal data may no more remain personal in light of recent reports of the security flaws can now download applications, monitor tell-tale signs as well as adjust settings to protect their data. Here we have the latest concerns and tips to avoid the thieves and hackers.
Trevor Eckhart, the first security researcher claimed that a software made by Carrier IQ that has been installed on 140 million handsets across the world was secretly recording user data like keystrokes and Web browsing history. Privacy advocates, consumers and Congress are in an uproar since then.
Verizon, In Motion and Nokia claims not to be using any Carrier IQ software in its phone while Apple, AT&T, HTC, Sprint and T-Mobile report that some of their phones use the software.
Some believe that the scandal may be overblown majorly since no one has tried anything like peer review of Eckhart’s conclusions.
A free application to detect Carrier IQ was introduced at the Android Market on December 2.
North Caroline State University researchers have found that a few preloaded apps on Android phones are vulnerable to security issues that can wipe the handset, listen to calls or steal data. The concerns were discovered on eight different smartphones from Google, HTC, Samsung and Motorola.
Is that a bad news, then here we have more. Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange this week in London informed that more than 150 private sector organizations in around 25 countries have the capability to track mobile devices and also listen to calls, interrupt messages, access browsing history and also email accounts as reported by ZDNet. The information can be sold as wholesale info to governments or other private industries.
In order to protect yourself from any such app, delete the browsing history from your cell phone via the settings feature on your phone. Don’t use your cell phone for sensitive transactions like that of bank. It is good to use your laptop or desktop for such purposes and also ensure that you have an anti-virus installed.
The 171 million users on Skype can also be in trouble. Researchers at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University made around 10,000 video calls to random Skype registered users and discovered that even when the recipients of the call didn’t answer the incoming calls their IP address could still be stolen and can also be used to figure out who they chat with, what they download and also their location.
To prevent any such privacy concerns keep your Skype turned off when you are not expecting calls and also never use your real name as your user name.
Privacy at Risk
The fight between the tech users who expect privacy and the commercial entities who attempt to invent ways to breach it, is increasing with time, more because the researchers continue to stir the pot.
Install the app Hotspot Shield in your cell phone that helps in keeping Android devices safe. It compresses and encrypts the data of the mobile. It runs in the background and will compress as well as encrypt all the incoming and outgoing exchanges on the fly. PC World recently advised Android users to set up Android built-in security tools and updated them about the third-party extras that enhance the security of the personal information.