Tag Archives: Smart phones

Protecting your blackberry

How to Save Your Data and Reputation if You Lose Your BlackBerry

5 years ago, an analysis we did of 150 data breach events showed that over 40% of the data breach events were due to stolen or lost hardware devices (Download the free research article on data breach here Business Threat Modeling Study).

Stolen or lost devices were in a close second place to data being stolen from systems by hackers who exploit system and application software defects (49%).

5 years ago – it was your PC.  Now it is your smart phone.

Your bank account is emptied. Photos of your weekend clubbing showed up on some “drunk and stupid” website. Your contacts are gone and your Facebook friends hate you due to the nasty status updates you appear to be posting from your account. Yes, the world has pretty much ended all because you lost your phone.

But if your device happens to be one of the cell phones from BlackBerry, you just happen to be in luck. BlackBerry offers a host of preventative measures you can take as well as a number of apps and gadgets that can help protect your data and even retrieve your phone. Here are some smart and slick preventative measures to keep in mind before this scenario happens to you.

Password Protection

Protecting your phone with a password is a wise idea. Like most devices, BlackBerry lets you create a password to gain access to your phone’s functions and data, making your phone useless to whomever finds it. If it’s useless to them, they may as well return it, right?

While password protection may seem obvious, Investopedia reports that a Javelin Strategy & Research study says only 38 percent of cell phone users enact it.

Logging out

Log out of your apps when you’re done using them. Leaving access open to anything, even Facebook, is inviting trouble.

BlackBerry Protect

Installing BlackBerry Protect software is another wise move. This free software locates the last known location of your phone if the phone is on and the SIM card is still inserted. The BlackBerry website also notes the software can do a remote backup of the data, wipe your phone clean if you didn’t protect it with a password and even send a “return me for a reward” message to your phone’s screen, wherever it may be.

BlackBerry Protect lets you do regular backups even without a lost phone, as does Desktop BlackBerry Software. You can then restore your backed-up data to your new BlackBerry phone.

Wireless Leash

ZOMM. ZOMM is a handy protection gadget in the form of a wireless leash for your phone. Pair the device with your BlackBerry and you have an automatic alert system that lets you know if you and your phone are ever separated. The ZOMM website recommends taking the wireless leash protection up a notch by downloading the ZOMM app to your PC. The app lets you keep track of the leash itself, the last paired location of your BlackBerry and allows you change audible settings.

Creepy or Useful?

Even though Mashable.com calls this software “potentially creepy,” it doubles as a potential life saver. StealthGenie quietly hangs out in the background of your BlackBerry, secretly collecting data on your phone activity and sending the info to a secure web account. This way you can keep tabs on any texts, calls or other activity that happens after your phone goes missing. Opt for the gold subscription and you can delete phone information remotely and find out if the SIM has been changed.

Not losing your BlackBerry in the first place is, of course, the best option. But if your phone does get lost, your bank account, friends and reputation certainly doesn’t have to go with it.

Guest post courtesy of  Bobby Charles. Bobby is a mobile app designer and tech wizard from the East Coast. He loves writing, Web designing and jogging with his dogs.

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Will smart phones replace credit cards?

A recent post “Can smartphones replace credit cards” wonders whether or not consumers are ready to  trade in their plastic for their cell-phone.

Mobile payment technology has been around for about 10 years and it has not really taken off in a big way – although there are niche applications.  In Tel Aviv for example, you can buy drinks in vending machines with your cell phone and pay for parking.

Clearly it’s not a technology barrier to entry but a cultural barrier to entry.

Continue reading

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Social media cell phone

The newspapers this morning online and print, had a number of items citing how Obama won in the social networking space – au contraire – Obama won the election because he sold Americans a message of hope, even if it was modeled on a character from the TV Series “24”,

The majority of Americans are not wired like us high-tech geeks – but TV and cell phones are something that everything watches and uses.

Next week, in the U.K. and Australia; Hutchison will launch a new 3G cell phone with social networking applications. The phone is produced by the new Hutchison mobile device subsidiary INQ Mobile.

The new  handset is supposedly a new product category of  “low-cost social mobile” devices that make applications like Facebook as easy to use as SMS texting.   The key to stimulating more usage of mobile data subscribers is to reduce the cost to the operator and provide easy-to-use applications.   Cellular operators, having already made large CapEx investments in the 3G infrastructure need to drive data usage into all users, not just the 15% that use smart phones today.

Using a smart phone for social networking raises some interesting security questions. If you could be anonymous online, it will now be easier to track down the exact identity or even physical location of that hot-looking woman you are chatting with.  A cellphone number is more exact than a geographic lookup of an IP address.

For the full article see: Hutchison preps Facebook Phone Launch

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Data loss by cellphone

Is your 50-something IT manager the last one to know about the company getting acquired?

An extremely obvious yet perhaps unpleasant observation for over-40 IT managers is that under 30 employees know a lot more about technology and ways to bypass the company security safeguards than they do.

A young, hip, mobile and techology-facile workforce may be a significant, yet unacknowledged vulnerability for companies.   Your information security group is doing  security awareness training  and evaluating DLP solutions from companies like Symantec and Fidelis Security to block blogging and Facebook but the action has moved to Twitter.

Your physical security officer has installed security cameras to deter theft of equipment but how are they going to block smart cell phones with 16GB memory, cameras and modern Unix-based operating systems like OS/X (the OS on the Apple iPhone) that can run any nix* application.    How about this exploit – download some data to your phone from the PC and then ssh to a private sshd server somewhere on a virtual host.  Don’t want to be tracked down ?  No problem – just take down the virtual host after your’e finished – don’t neeed more than an hour or so.

What about data loss by text messaging?   True – it’s limited by the quantity – but not by the quality.

I’m waiting for commercial applications of cell-phone blocking technology to the workplace – in this down market – it might be critical for the guys and gals in the board room.

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