by Jimmy Marks
My parents love to tell me stories about how different things were when they were just starting out in life. Their first phone line was a “party line”, a phone line that connected several people over a small area. You picked up the phone, you heard everything that was said to everyone on that line. Have something you want to keep secret? Better not say it over the phone. Someone COULD be listening.
Thank goodness we live in a new, digital age of wonders, right? Not only does everyone get their own phone, but their own little “pocket computer”, complete with your emails, your browsing history, your contacts, your text messages…an entire written/spoken/recorded record of everything you’re doing, even a collected list of locations you’ve visited over a three year span.
Um…wait, why do we carry these things around, again? These things should be chained to your neck in some way to ensure you never lose them. And that’s an especially good idea, considering the findings of a recent Symantec study which tells us 96 percent of people who find lost smartphones try to access personal and business data on the phone (here, via BoingBoing).
Terrifying. Instead of the nosy-old lady of yesteryear, listening in on your calls and chatting about it at church, you get someone who tries their darndest to read your emails, snoop on your texts, expose your photos…maybe even disrupt your business?
I can’t help but harken back to my old rant about good passwords. Lock. Your. Phone. Not with a “swipe”, not with a “pull-down” – with a code number or a complex swipe gesture. And change it every so often (once every four to six months, let’s say). And, while I’m at it, consider that your greasy, crummy fingers are giving you away and clean your screen semi-regularly so that, if lost, your phone’s password can’t be guessed thanks to your smudges.
There should also be a setting on your phone that locks people out entirely after a certain number of password attempts. Yeah, it might wipe your phone’s hard drive. But better safe than sorry, yes?
Also important? Don’t lose your phone. Ever.