Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability
Security and Privacy Tips for World Travelers
Filing Taxes Online This Year? Take Steps to Protect Your Information!
If your computer runs Windows XP, you must update it now!
Why Should You Report Security Incidents? And How Do You Report One?
Photo and Video Privacy Issues
The Password is Dead, Long Live the Password!
Data Privacy Month: NSA Surveillance Panel at the National Constitution Center
Protecting Your Finances During This Year’s Holiday Shopping Season
Beware of Phishing E-mails in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan
No E-mail from Penn Will Ask For Your Username/Password or SSN
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: Does It Apply to Your Website?
October: National Cyber Security Awareness Month; Free Secure Disposal of Paper and Electronics
What Basic Rules Protect Student Information at Penn? (September 2013)
Protecting Privacy and Security on Penn + Box
Tuesday, November 1, 2011 - Almanac Vol. 58, No. 10
Vulnerabilities of Smart Phones
Today's smart phones (such as the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, etc.) include a variety of features that have made them indispensable to their owners. The ability to list nearby restaurants, instantly read reviews of the store you are standing in, or simply map your current location and quickly get directions, are just a few. All three of these examples rely on Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities that are built in to many phones which allow it to be tracked to within a few dozen feet of its actual location. Additional GPS-related services include:
Unfortunately, the benefits of GPS introduce new vulnerabilities as well. Vulnerabilities that may be exploited by malicious hackers, jilted lovers or greedy corporations for the purpose of spying on you and documenting your activities, or invading your privacy for the purpose of targeting you for a product or some other marketing material.
- personal security, such as improving 911 response, or voluntarily monitoring and tracking;
- device security, including tracking the location of a lost or stolen device;
- interactive tourism and gaming;
- opt-in targeted discounts and coupons.
To help preserve your privacy and personal security, we suggest the following:
If you have concerns about GPS and your smart phone talk to your cellular provider. For additional suggestions on how to improve your privacy, contact your Local Support Provider or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Protect your device with a passcode that only you know.
- Only install mobile applications from trusted sources.
- Be judicious about enabling location-based services on your phone and carefully consider the implications to your personal privacy. Turn these services off when not in use.
- Avoid clicking on unsolicited attachments or links delivered to your phone via email or SMS (text messages).
- Keep your mobile device software up-to-date and monitor what applications are installed. Check your bill monthly.