There are a number of risks associated with investing in a Smart phone; the obvious risk is that you may lose, damage or have your brand new gadget stolen, leaving you severely out of pocket. Luckily there is Gadget Insurance to protect you against that, and you can insure your Smart phone for as little as a few pounds a month.
There is a more sinister risk however, and one that could be more damaging, and that is the risk of identity theft. Smartphone’s are a great invention; we can access our emails, social media sites, purchase goods and even check online banking. What this means however is that our Smart phone potentially holds a whole host of personal data.
Security has been a major theme at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, and for good reasons. In September last year, iPhone manufacturer; Apple, predicted that only 50% of their customers take advantage of the pass code systems on their devices. Not only does this expose the other 50% off users to identity theft, credit card fraud and more, an unlocked Smartphone is also more attractive to a thief who can easily have the device unlocked and sold on.
Pass codes are inconvenient however, which is perhaps why they are not used more widely by Smartphone users. Apple had a solution to this and in September 2013, the iPhone 5s launched, with new finger print scanning technology. This kind of technology was previously reserved for the likes of Laptop devices, and allows the user to unlock their Smart phone simply by swiping their thumb or digit of choice across the home button.
Samsung were another Smart phone manufacturer following in Apple’s footsteps with the launch of their new flagship Smartphone, the Galaxy S5, with additional security features. S5 users will have the ability to unlock their device with a fingerprint scanner, the same as the iPhone 5S but they will also be able to make payment transactions via Paypal using their finger print as identification.
Another feature added is the user’s ability to enable ‘private mode’, to store sensitive information that can only be accessed by the scanner. This may appear to be more of an advantage to those wanting to hide data from praying eyes, but used correctly, it does add an all important additional security feature to the new Smart phone.
Taking the issue of security one step further, on Monday this week Silent Circle announced the launch of their new Blackphone, a Smart phone designed to be the most secure phone on the market to date. Their aim was to create a Smart phone that provides complete protection for your personal data, including calls, texts and online data with the combination of third-party security services and a custom-built private operating system.
The Blackphone doesn’t come cheap, at a price of around £400, and may seem a bit extreme for the average user. This kind of device however does bring valuable security for individuals, who do access highly sensitive data via their Smart phone, be that personal or business related. Business, like individuals can invest in Business Gadget Insurance to protect their devices, but they need to make sure that company data is protected especially if this data is accessed by a number of employees via a number of devices, even personal.
All this may sound a little daunting, but if you are an average Smart phone user then you can still take vital steps to protect your data. Making sure that you take advantage of your device’s pass code system, however inconvenient can make a huge difference. For 6 simple steps to protecting your mobile data click here.