87% Have Something to Hide On Their Phones (and DIY security education)

A cell phone security-firm is claiming that a) most people think celebrity phone hacks are stunts while b) 87% of them have similar private/embarrassing stuff on their own phones.

Almost all of this stuff, objectively, is medium to harmless. Objectively speaking, anyway. The problem is what the attackers may do with it — see all the stories about ‘cyber-bullying’ and ‘cyber-stalking.’

Roughly, this is where a bunch of people gang up and try to destroy the victim’s life. Maybe because the victim double-parked at the office, maybe just for sport. They may not even know the victim personally. And embarrassing phone pics are high-caliber ammunition for people like that.

Yes, if you see something like this happening, get some defensive-security practice and help the person. (Anonymously, of course, always cover yourself.) The attacks can be surprisingly sophisticated, and you’ll find yourself inventing high-security solutions using the lowest-tech tools. This almost guarantees you’ll come out of it better at the security game.

Still, the implications of go a bit beyond education.If the stakes for comparatively harmless information are going up, and even the lowest classes of attacker are adopting organized-crime style tactics… guess what that means for security?

(as much as I try to avoid linking to press releases, the original link I saw was just a copy/paste of the release with some details stripped…)

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/while-consumers-are-skeptical-about-celebrity-phone-hack-claims-87-have-something-to-hide-on-their-own-smartphones-168747636.html

“Only 53 percent of smart phone owners reported even securing their devices with a passcode.[…]

87 percent of consumers have content of their own that they’d rather keep private on their smart phones. This included family photos (52 percent), private contacts (52 percent), office documents (40 percent), flirty texts (35 percent) and downloaded media (31 percent).

And apparently celebrities aren’t the only ones carrying around potentially comprising photos. 15 percent of consumers said they kept private, sexy photos of themselves on their smart phones.”

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