During a recent discussion with a friend, she narrated how she let a friend of hers use her mobile to chat. Part of the fallout of that incidence was that this friend ended up reading some of her private conversations with other people. Some of those conversations were had in strict confidence and she felt really bad about having made it possible for a third party to have seen them.
Personally, I am not likely to let anyone use my mobile to chat. I consider a chat channel as very personal. Apart from personal, social use, I have business conversations there, as well as conversations with people who reach out to me in their pains and troubles for support and counsel. All that makes my chat channel a no-go area for anyone.
I have also observed that the average person is snoopy. They see your nice phone and ask to see it. The next thing you know, they are going through your SMS and emails. What for beats me. Having seen it happen a number of times, I am much more cautious about handing my mobile over to anyone.
Mobile is the most personal and intimate computing platform out there. It is more personal than the desktop PC, more personal than the laptop or netbook, and infinitely more personal than a tablet PC. One would expect people to show respect for privacy when handling a very personal item like a mobile, but it isn’t usually the case. Because of that, I am also wary of asking anyone to let me go through their mobile (especially for a quick hands-on), except the individual concerned has indicated that he or she is okay with it. After all, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
A Nigerian proverb says that it isn’t for nothing that the crayfish is bent or curved over. I think that mobile users may need to learn to say No when issues of personal privacy and security are at stake. Mobiles have gone beyond the days of mere telephone calls. The volume of sensitive information that we push via our mobiles on a daily basis suggests that we be more conscious of security.
As a mobile user, how do you handle nosy and snoopy people who want to go through your mobile? Do you ever let others chat with your phone? How do you deal with the privacy issue in that circumstance? Contributions and comments please.