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Smartphone security?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by SW, Apr 7, 2015.

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  1. SW

    SW Well-Known Member

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    I recently purchased a smartphone. This weekend I had a chance to ask my kids (24, 22 & 20) and daughter-in-laws (24 & 22) some questions to help me set up/understand my new phone.

    The thing that completely surprised me was although all of them, to some extent, use internet banking and shop online with their phones, none of them have an anti-virus app/program installed on their smartphones. I like to gamble, most VMB members do, but this seems unwise to this old man.

    What are your thoughts? Do you have an anti-virus app/program installed on your smartphone? If yes, which one?
     
  2. klawrey

    klawrey High-Roller

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    You must have an Android device? I have had an Apple iPhone for years now and had to Google of their was such thing as antivirus for a smartphone because iPhones have built in security and are very secure much like their MacBook counterparts.
     
  3. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    I pretty much subscribe to the, "It's not gonna happen to me" theory... I too have an IPhone.
     
  4. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

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    So a part of my job is to oversee the production of native apps (that is ones that you download from the app store or Google play). My recommendation is that you don't worry about viruses or malware on these devices.

    Apple: It's almost impossible to get a virus or the like as long as you don't jailbreak it
    Android: The same as long as you don't root the device

    It's likely that you have never heard of either but it's basically a way of taking your phone outside of the walled garden that is offered by both. In the extremely unlikely situation that you do get hacked it is probably going to be because you have put a weak password on something you use on your phone rather than an actual app you have installed.

    To put it into context: In 18 years working in the digital industry and having an in-depth understanding of mobile platforms it is not something I give a second thought to.
     
  5. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

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    Mobile apps are hard to hack because they have to be approved by Apple or Google (as long as you haven't jailbroken or rooted your phone).

    Apple security for desktop computers is a bit of a myth. The reason that there is not really any Apple viruses is because it's windows has a much bigger market share and is easy to hack compared to Apple. Anyone could hack an Apple PC if they wanted to, but what's the point when many easier targets exist. It's a bit like having a burglar alarm on your house. All it does is deter the casual thief looking for an easy score.

    Realistically, if your bank can be hacked then you can be damn sure your home computer can be. It's just not profitable.

    Mobile devices are different because all the apps get reviewed and have to use standard code that Google or Apple provide to do things.

    Actually, the App Store on Apple desktop and laptop computers is going some way to make it the same for them but it's much easier to slip through that net if someone wanted to.

    The biggest worry these day (and it's still a very minor concern) is your internet data being intercepted but if you buy something from a website with an SSL certificate (look for a padlock in the address bar) then you can just claim any losses from your credit card company.
     
  6. klawrey

    klawrey High-Roller

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    You don't have to worry. Apple iOS and OS X come with Mac Gatekeeper security already in/on their devices. In iPhones and iPad have to be jailbroken to disable Gatekeeper and MacBooks have ability to turn off Gatekeeper.

    So simply put you are very secure with your iPhone with Gatekeeper. As an example in my old PC days I used to have some minor malware pop up once every few months, in my now 4 years on a MacBook with Gatekeeper I have not had malware even show its face.

    Stick with good tech from Apple and you won't have to worry and won't need to add a third party security solution.
     
  7. klawrey

    klawrey High-Roller

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    That's not entirely true. I spent 3 years in college working for Apple and while you are true there are less threats because of smaller market share there is still excellent build in security in the form of Gatekeeper. It's actually detrimental to add their party security to a MacBook and we always recommended user avoid doing so at all costs. So it's true there are less threats for Macs because of market share but their security is also excellent as well.

    Just look at what built in Gatekeeper does for iPhone which dominates market share. No malware issues from websites or emails there.
     
  8. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

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    This is also good advice.
     
  9. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

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    I understand what you're saying but OSX is just a derivation of Unix and uses the same System, Owner, Group, and World security groups. Gatekeeper adds to that, but it is perfectly possible to get around this. If it wasn't you'd never hear of a corporation being exposed.

    You called me on a good point though. I said "The reason that there is not really any Apple viruses is because it's windows has a much bigger market share and is easy to hack compared to Apple." and I should have said the MAIN reason.

    Ultimately, as you know I think, computer security is a far bigger discussion than we can fit into this thread :)
     
  10. klawrey

    klawrey High-Roller

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    I think Wigman hits the nail on the head in that I'd be more concerned with general phishing techniques and redirection for data than I would of any type of virus or malware on your smart phone.

    Make sure you're doing business on SSL protected sites as he recommends and you'll be alright.

    And most of all, don't look at sketchy porn sites, they're the worst :evillaugh
     
  11. klawrey

    klawrey High-Roller

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    More than we can fit on the board lol.

    For the OP, simply put, go about your business and don't sweat it because it's unlikely to happen and in the rare instance it does it's likely something a third party security app isn't going to protect you from anyways.
     
  12. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

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    Uh oh...lol.
     
  13. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    Can you list some of these sketchy porn sites? I want to make sure I don't accidentally visit one.

    I do banking, shopping, and investing and a little day trading (gambling) from my smartphone.
     
  14. klawrey

    klawrey High-Roller

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    Haha unfortunately there are too many. Reports in 2011 stated 37% of websites were sexually oriented... :wink2:
     
  15. alanleroy

    alanleroy Tourist

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    For Android, Anti-Virus generally comes as a component of complete security packages. Although viruses and malware may not be an issue for you, security packages offer things like cloud backups and being able to remote wipe or track down you phone if it's lost or stolen. That could be more important than AV...but AV doesn't hurt really. I use AVAST because it's free and does all that stuff...and I never use my phone to do banking or credit card transactions. As a side tip, don't use your smartphone to log into any web site using a public Wi-Fi network.
     
  16. hotreds

    hotreds VIP Whale

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    I, too, would not recommend using your phone to place orders or do banking. Just wait until you get home and use your (hopefully) secure computer!
     
    A/C in December!?
    Will give them a try!
  17. SW

    SW Well-Known Member

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    Yes I have an Android device.

    Thank you all for the advice!
     
  18. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

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    Your smartphone uses exactly the same methods to transmit data over the internet as your home computer. If anything, your home computer is easier to hack than your mobile device.

    Anyway, none of this matters because the only way to do online banking is through the bank's website or mobile app and if you suffer any losses using either the bank will refund you.
     
  19. wigwam_salesman

    wigwam_salesman VIP Whale

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    Why not? Regardless of the device used, sensitive data is sent via the HTTPS internet protocol (as long as the website is written properly). Basically - the internet is the internet. Different things talk to it but they all talk to it in common ways.


    Now that's very good advice. I'd still log into Facebook etc but I wouldn't use anything that required sensitive information.

    I actually used a public wi-fi hotspot to order flowers over the internet once for my GF. Two days later $400 had been spent in Ghana. I called the bank, they gave it back to me. The only slight inconvenience was a new card so I had to update Spotify and Netflix.
     
  20. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    Hmmmmm... that's strange, cause almost no one admits to viewing porn on-line! LOL I just don't know how they all stay in business???
     
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