The Most Reasonable Cell Phone Security in Existence
Kate Murphy in the New York Times recently outlined a few ways cell phones users can protect themselves against hackers. Murphy’s points about purchasing apps from established vendors and being wary of app permissions are sensible. However, most of her other security suggestions are unrealistic for the typical consumer.
One of her suggestions is to yank the phone’s battery when not in use, so as to avoid the flow of information to a hacker. But, with 57% of professionals using smartphones or tablets as their primary computing device, very few people are actually going to do this. How often are people actually willing to turn off their phones, let along take out the battery? How reasonable is this suggestion and more and more people rely more and more heavily on these devices?
Another suggestion of Murphy’s is to switch subscriber identity modules, or SIM cards, every few months. Although SIM cards be may be incredibly cheap, and an effective security method, do we really think consumers are going to purchase 50 SIM cards at once, and then remember to switch them out every few months? It’s one more thing that people have to think about, and people don’t want or need more things to remember or to think about. Plus, only AT&T and T-Mobile have SIM cards, so this is a security tactic that won’t work for Sprint or Verizon users.
Murphy also advises against using public Wi-Fi, saying that 3G networks are safer to use. That is true, but also an unrealistic expectation. When people are traveling, or are simply on the go, they are not worrying about what type of Internet network they are using. They want to jump online, get the information they need, do what they need to do, and that’s it. If they are at an airport or at a coffee shop, then they will use the public Wi-Fi if that’s what is available.Continued on the next page