Security flaws in smartphone and tablet computers are increasingly becoming a concern as the number of users continues to grow exponentially, the devices become more sophisticated and people store more and more of their personal and business information on them. This was underscored recently when users of Apple’s new iPad had their email addresses and device ID’s exposed.
According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, last year security experts identified 30 security flaws in the software and operating systems of smartphones from companies including Apple, Nokia and Blackberry. The flaws include weak data protections which allow third party applications to access information including browser history and deleted text messages, or mobile web browsers which make it easy to steal usernames and passwords as they are being entered into websites.
Any laptop or phone that uses mobile web browsing is relatively easy to hack, which could potentially expose vital information that could leave you vulnerable to personal identity theft or corporate theft and espionage.
Security concerns also extend to personal safety as applications for such tools as Google Maps and others record the user’s real time location. These tools are great when you’re lost and your phone can tell you where to go, but if someone else can access that information and use it to track you then it could be a real safety issue. Apple, in fact, is now requiring users to agree to allow access to this information when they are downloading new apps and Google collects geo-data from Android phones.
While smart phones, tablet computers and laptops can make our lives a lot more convenient, we should all be aware that there are limits to the security that is currently being provided for these devices and that we should take that into consideration when storing information on them or accessing information from them.