This is the biggest security risk ever on your smartphone

We read about how there are gaping security holes in smartphones and ICT products and services as a whole. There is no end to scares about viruses and all. But I am betting that you have no idea what the greatest security threat on a phone, internet banking service or company email is.

smartphone Security

Answer: the user. I have been privileged to work with people and I can tell you that no matter how secure a phone or system is, if the user’s grasp of security is poor, the product/tool remains very insecure.

Here are ways that people mess up not only their own security but that of others who share information with them:

1. Weak Passwords. In 2015, you still won’t believe how many people use their middle names, lovers’ names or date of birth as their passwords. A weak password means that any email, Facebook, website dashboard, office WiFi system, or smartphone can be breached in seconds.

2. Poor Security Consciousness. Leaving your phone or laptop unlocked and unattended for 60 seconds means that someone can install and activate spyware on it, for example. Or transfer files and information out from it. Or plant incriminating material on it.

Despite all the noise of security issues on phones, servers and other systems, the user remains the greatest security risk in every single scenario. You.

Also note that no matter how secure and security conscious you are personally, if the person you are exchanging information with has a poor sense of security as described above, your information still isn’t safe. If you give someone with a poor sense of security access to a shared system, everyone on that system automatically stand the risk of being compromised because of that one person. The weakest link in the chain.

10 comments

  1. This is rather timely, as yesterday I was speaking to someone who said she had a problem with her computer and had to get someone to fix it. When I got her to describe the problem, it very much sounded like a virus.

    So my next question was, did she have an antivirus on her PC? She said oh yes, the person who fixed it last year installed an antivirus programme. I asked if the antivirus was valid and she claimed it was, she then went on to tell me it was only a year old but installed last year April!

    This is someone who has owned a computer for years and has never bothered to learn the basics, i said to her straight up she should never own a PC is she’s not prepared to learn the basics.

    You don’t have to have an aptitude for technology to at least know, learn and understand basic security for your device(s).

    1. Ehis, trust me it isn’t harsh and I don’t mince words. When a person keeps having the same problems with their computer and it’s down you YOUser error, who is the person that she will keep calling to fix it? Not me anymore.

  2. The human factor but I guess this can be resolve with finger and eye scan if that’s included on websites that handle serious transactions

  3. from a security perspective, the user is almost always the weak link in the chain. that’s why social engineering is as important as processing muscle or algorithms in hacking. in cybersecurity and tech support you hear terms like “ID-10T” error & “PEBKAC”

  4. You will be surprised to know some people still use 1111 or 123456 as pins and passwords, in 2015!!!

    And to make matters worse, they dont keep a close watch on their devices or accounts.

    1. What about creating a second pin for verification. Some senior citizens really can’t grasp tough passwords

    2. You see ehn, these senior citizens we are talking about, are quite few.
      let’s, for the sake of argument, leave them out of this for now, and focus on the young bloods that are too slack in securing their belongings.
      Let me use myself as an instance, if you are close to me enough, you may know my aTM pin or phone unlock code…what I will assure you however…is that you will never be alone with either my phone or my wallet. Thats what we are preaching here.

      I forgot my ATM at genesis when hitman was released…and I discovered this on third mainland bridge…guess what, I had to disable it on the go using my bank’s short code. This is what we are trying to say. The card may not get into a harmful person’s reach but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

      I’ve had breach risks with my BlackBerry in the past but I managed to neutralise the risk.

      What do u say about people using 123456 as passwords to organisational email? Are those ones senior citizens too or they are just too lazy? This is the reason most companies now mandate alphanumeric characters as passwords for their emails. Its because of users that undermine the extent at which they could be vulnerable if not careful.

  5. True,many don’t bother to appreciate the first thing about device security,there seems to be this it won’t happen to ME attitude among the consumers,despite all the jingles and warnings about being security conscious being bandied about,the I don’t care and non chalant attitude being exhibited by MOST smart devices owners must be a Hackers wet dreams..

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