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.
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.