Today we are social, in the Internet meaning of the term. We are constantly full of data, full of our data and full of data of our contacts.
Protecting data in our society is not only a good paranoid practice, it’s a civic responsibility.
It’s a responsibility that we have respect to our contacts. Our friends, our colleagues trust in us and send to us their data. We have, stored on our devices, their name, addresses, contact ids, photos and a plenty of informations that with our devices compromised would generate a damage also for them.
How many of your friends ask you to use your laptop to buy something on ebay? They trust you and they use your terminal to insert credit card number and passwords. Your computer must be clean! Otherwise a spyware may catch your friend’s login and credit card number and a pirate may perform purchases in his name.
A lost unprotected smartphone may be totally a pain for all of your contacts (don’t store sexy photos of your girlfriend on an unprotected phone… she won’t be happy, especially once the phone is lost).
So you need to apply security for your safety and in order to respect the safety of your contacts.
Do not install untrusted Operating Systems and do not install untrusted software, choose free software instead. Pirate software may constitute a serious risk of introducing spyware and other malware on your pc; if you have no choice but use pirate software, you have to know that the system may be not secure and you haven’t to perform operations like e-commerce. Take the system constantly updated and use, for the system who need it, an antivirus/antispyware/antiadware and also browse the Internet safely, without clicking on the first link you read.
In mobility be sure to protect the device with strong passwords and also apply encryption of the data. There’s nothing painful like someone finding our phone and unlocking it with a slide gesture… taking informations about all of our life, interacting with our friends, taking our identity in front of them.
Run also programs to remotely wipe the device in case of theft. Bricking the device maybe is not a good choice, because in case you’ll find your stolen phone, all of you have back is a plastic brick but wiping the data is useful because you can restore it back when you want. (Do you make backup somewhere?)
The problem with tablet and smartphones is amplified because we take a computer that could perform telephony and we treat it like a cell-phone that could run apps. But data stored on a cellphone has not the same complexity of the data stored on a smartphone and applications are not the same. Cellphone needs a pin on the sim card to have a reasonable lock to contacts and SMS, smartphones are not the same. Smartphones could be attacked remotely because they run multiple communication protocols and also their GigaByte grade memory is full of data that construct our social life from the past decade or more.
Respect your neighborhood, respect your contacts, respect your colleagues by protecting your data and by teaching them how to protect theirs… and so yours.