Is the lack of data security a good enough reason to get rid of your smartphone?

There was one issue that raised a lot of questions at the Mobile World Congress 2019… the security of smartphone data. This exhibition took place from February 25-28 in Barcelona. It brought together all the important people in the cell phone industry. Manufacturers, experts, and phone enthusiasts meet every year to show off the latest innovations in the industry.

This is the place to learn about the trends coming in the next few years. Thus, what seems extraordinary to us today is bound to become obsolet. We can even say victim of planned obsolescence or a passing fad.

In fact, a global study conducted by Kantar Worldpanel in 2017 stated that the life of a cell phone hovers at around 2 years. In France particularly, the average life is 22 months, just like in the United States.

 

Your cell phone will self-destruct if it is hacked

Did you think that a programmed destruction of your phone was impossible?

That was before you realized how diligent cell phone manufacturers are. They started with a simple statement: to remove all access to private data, let’s destroy the means of access to it, in other words your cell phone.

Sensors are built-in to the phone, which detect the slightest attempt at forced intrusion (opening the device, taking out the memory card, etc.).

But don’t go thinking that your phone will go up in smoke by barely touching a button! Your phone will remain intact. Nevertheless, your smartphone’s memory will be erased. And your device will also be deactivated as soon as the sensors are triggered.

 

The 5G paradox

Are you anxiously awaiting 5G, like the Messiah?

Its capabilities in terms of charging and power are undeniable and we expect unsurpassed download speeds (up to 20 gigs per second). Nonetheless, you will be disappointed when it comes to the security aspect. We have been promised top-rate security with a network that uses encrypted device and network language. However, researchers reveal that 5G also has its flaws. In particular, we’re talking about risks inherent with 5G:

  • listening to pirated calls
  • traceability concerning the geolocation of devices
  • false relay antennas capable of intercepting the network. They are used by law enforcement to track and monitor suspects as part of an investigation.

Incidentally, this is why the 5G‘s protection system was strengthened through the AKA protocol (Authentication and Key Agreement). It validates phone authentication over cellular networks using keys to encrypt communication. 

 

“Applicavores” are the first to be targeted

With the advent of apps in the mobile world, users quickly became addicted to downloading this type of software to their phones. This software is practical, because it’s adapted for use on cell phones, and it makes accessing games or service platforms easier.

However, for some time now, there has been a new form of data piracy with the arrival of false apps. They mimic how your usual apps look, saving your personal data so your banking information can be used for malicious purposes. Those who have Androïd phones seem to be the most vulnerable to this risk.

So, always remember that if you want to download an app, go to its official website or use a recommended secure download platform (like Google Play).

 

As you can see, there’s no system or software today that ensures your personal information is secure. Security still relies far too much on identifying and authenticating the phone during connection, as well as on SIM cards where the identification keys shared with networks are stored. In this context, it’s difficult to not fear an increase in smartphone hacking. Especially knowing that two-thirds of the world’s population uses a cell phone.

 

To read: 5G is coming to France in late 2019: are we ready?