Beating The Hack: A Look Back on Mobile Security

Smartphones have forever changed the tech arena ever since its conception.  From work to play, it has become a central device of convenience  for its capability of performing multiple tasks at an instance.  So much data is written into it; from daily photos to loads of corporate  data flowing through emails. Trying to secure  these data is now one of the key challenges an average mobile user is faced with.

Before the ambitious introduction of smartphones capable of performing tasks only a PC would normally do, we had the phones like the Nokia 3310. Albeit the being one of the sturdiest in the market, a simple press of the menu button followed by the asterisk button would give immediate access to call logs, contacts,  and private messages. Simple passcodes were possible, yes, but a reset would still render the phone usable.

Years have passed and we now have smartphones that give us the ever so familiar option of adding pattern passcodes, number codes, and alphanumeric codes. In the year 2013 the  tech giant, Apple, implemented its touch id sensor to its iPhone 5s. With this was the iCloud Activation lock which rendered stolen iPhones unusable.  Shortly after, its competitors, Samsung,Htc,  and other competing China brands such as Huawei, Oppo and Vivo followed with the biometrics security trend to provide above average security. Yes, fingerprints can be reproduced, but it’s extremely difficult and effortful.

Now in the year 2017, Samsung has misplaced their fingerprint scanner but at the same time  made possible facial recognition and iris scanning as a means of providing immediate security for its newest flagship phone, the S8. Following the pattern on tech trends, it is no surprise that its direct competitors will begin implementing these as well.

Albeit efforts to enhance security measures, the same problem still persists: your phone can either be wiped clean via a hard reset or physically stolen from you. Digital security and physical security are still  two very different things. You can have your data safely secured in your mobile device, but still have your phone physically stolen.

In addressing issues of when phones are physically lost, a lost  iOS devices may be tracked via Apple’s Find My iPhone, and in Android, by using Android device manager. In this day and age, yes, your data can still be kept safe even after it is stolen although numerous bypasses or even a hard reset will still render your phone usable even after you’ve lost it. Nothing still beats keeping your phone  extra secure through extreme caution especially during those commutes.

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