Science and Technology News

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Securing Smart Phones...Who Will Answer the Call?

Smart phones are everywhere and double as sophisticated audio/video recording devices, GPS locators, WiFi hotspots, mobile gaming devices and can even be used to make purchases at traditional retail stores, like Starbucks.  While all of this functionality can be wonderful to use and convenient, we need to know how to use them safely - or face the consequences - as actress Scarlett Johansson recently found out when her cell phone was breached.  The next thing she knew, nude photos of her that she had apparently stored on an online service hit the internet.  She is currently working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to find the hacker.

How can celebrities like Scarlet Johansson, Jessica Alba, and Vanessa Hudgens, the most recent victims of phone hacking, not to mention politicians and high-level executives protect themselves from the same type of invasion of privacy? Apparently, Ms. Johansson’s recent incident is nothing compared to the years of hacking that The Guardian and other British press are being accused of using to obtain stories.  What are the implications if members of the intelligence community or other political figures have their phones hacked and what does that mean for national security?

The answer for the average consumer and the celebrity community is the same; install readily available software that detects viruses, malware, Trojan horses and more.  The current theory is that Ms. Johansson opened an email from her smart phone which let in a Trojan horse that spread to the email account and eventually led to the website where she had the photos stored.

This week we look at the dangers and the security and privacy issues regarding smart phones and other mobile computing devices.  We'll discuss if there are any effective solutions available on the market today to protect everyone from consumers to high-profile politicians and we’ll discuss tips for securing these 21st century toys and work tools.

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