2014 is proving to be the Year of Digital Privacy & Security. There have been a wave of hacked websites, compromised Cloud services, malware posing as fake apps, etc. Everyday seems to bring a new story involving a compromised service or company: as mobile use becomes prolific globally, it’s a natural target for the next generation of hackers, identity thieves, corporate espionage, state spying, etc… In the past it was hardware that was a natural target for thieves – laptops, cell phones, ipods – but with the increase in mobile banking and ecommerce, Digital is the new criminal frontier. And beyond the criminal sphere, consumer privacy is another concern for many as revelations of how Facebook, Google and other services commoditized your personal data for profit has received mainstream play. So naturally it’s important to look at all available platforms and see how they secure YOUR data before making your choice.
Alex Manea, Manager of Security Services at BlackBerry, weighs in on the growing concerns over mobile privacy and security and demonstrates four key areas in which BlackBerry has ‘got your back’. It’s by no means a complete summary of all the security that BlackBerry has baked into its new operating system, BB10. In fact it reads like a primer addressed to the average user, and perhaps that’s the point as more people look beyond the ‘easy’ choices that are currently leading in the market.
Despite the risks, many people still just can’t and don’t want to be bothered with spending a lot of time fiddling with their phone and fine tuning the default settings of their devices to secure their data. They play the odds game, figuring ‘it won’t happen to me’. Until it does. Alex opens up his primer by addressing that directly:
Let’s be honest: Most of us would rather not have to think about privacy and security. We use technology to be productive and entertained, and worries around online safety only get in the way.
And with that opening, Alex dives into the broad strokes of how you DON’T have to fiddle around with BlackBerry 10 devices. They’ve fiddled for you, and the DEFAULT setting is the most secure.
BlackBerry supports privacy by default. BES messages, BBM, and BlackBerry Blend are encrypted by default. Connections to mail servers that support encryption (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook.com) are encrypted by default. Connections to websites that support encryption (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) are encrypted by default. And of course, connections to the BlackBerry Infrastructure are encrypted by default.
He goes into more detail about granular app permissions for native apps, sandboxing Android apps, limiting password attempts… So head over and take a read. And consider sharing the page with your friends, family and colleagues who might say that all platforms are the same or that ‘it doesn’t matter’. It’s a remarkably easy read, clearly aimed at the average end user.
And it’s a discussion that inevitably is going to grow in importance as each passing day brings news of a new attack and we become increasingly reliant on our mobile devices to handle everything.