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Google Pixel and Apple iPhone security
As we begin the New Year, many of us are still enjoying the new toys received during the holiday season — toys such as a new iPhone 7 or maybe even the new Google Pixel. Cell phones, like anything else, come with a variety of choices based on size, OS, manufacturer, storage space, screen clarity, etc. But do most people consider which devices are the most secure?
In our industry, people tend to make this the focal point of research before purchasing a new phone. But most of the time, others outside IT security do not. In this blog, I’m going to review some of the security features that the iPhone7 and Google Pixel offer, as well as a few of the areas where they are lacking in security or have vulnerabilities.Google Pixel Security Features
First, let’s take a look at the Google Pixel and some of its security features. Unlike other smartphones, the Pixel uses file-based encryption rather than full disk encryption. This allows files... read more >
A Cyber Security Risk on Your Wrist?
Smartphones in the ‘90s, outside of Nokia’s N series, weren’t even a thing. Wearable devices were a leftover trend from ‘80s cyberpunk. Images resembling those depicted in Snow Crash and Neuromancer were things of the imagination, but are now becoming part of daily life. “Goggling in” referenced in Snow Crash is a reality made possible by the new rise in virtual reality products like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. People are already carrying around what essentially amounts... read more >
Social Media Scrooges
I recently had the pleasure of providing security guidance for a news story presented by the local Fox® affiliate. Since the reporter took a few liberties with what I actually said, I thought I would give you, the reader, these tips directly. So, here we go!
Some of what I’m about to say may seem like common sense but to the excited traveler anxiously awaiting a getaway weekend for the upcoming holidays, maybe not. There seems to be a common theme lately of people posting images of their boarding pass on social media sites, unaware of the dangers this actually poses. If we take a moment and examine the various boarding documents of the major airlines, we see a common occurrence of information, all of which when used together can pose pretty serious risk to the unaware holiday traveler.
Delta Airlines® Boarding... read more >
7 Tips to Secure and Help Your Cell Phone Get Home
Is your phone set up to protect your data and help it find its way home when lost?
Last night, while on a walk with my amazing wife, we discovered a lost phone on the ground.
Considering that within a half-mile radius of my house there are three churches, two schools, two parks and a golf course, this happens more often than you would think. I'd like to believe that I am a decent, responsible security professional. As such, my first thought wasn't "Hmmm. What can I do with this?", but rather "How can I quickly get this back to its owner?"
Sometimes this is extremely easy. Other times, not so much. This case met a few hiccups. To respect their privacy, I always try to touch as little of their data as possible. So, here’s what I tried to do to get the phone... read more >
“The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound… above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it… There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment.” – Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, published in 1949
“In Russia, TV watches you!” – comedian Yakov Smirnoff, circa 1984
Be very afraid. Again.
Siri, Apple’s digital assistant program for the iPhone, once had to be explicitly activated before it would listen and accept commands. But in iOS version 8, Siri can be set to an “always listen” mode.
iPhones, iPads, Android phones and Chromebooks can now be configured to listen for an “... read more >