Smartphone security guidelines

Smart phones are here to stay. However, with more power, comes more capability, and with more capability, comes more malware. There is always a chance that any smart phone can get infected by a malware. Features that are in-built to checking malware propagation have been built bottom-up in some of these phones.

  1. Nokia uses code signing for programs it releases for the Symbian Operating System. This feature enables a consumer to know that the code has been developed and delivered by a trusted developer.
  2. The same strategy is followed for iPhone and Android.

However, over and above this, it is the user of the device that needs to be more aware of the damage that unsigned code can cause to their computing experience. Some of the more powerful games, like freeflight, snowboarding are available on Java. But, these phones allow a user to override code signing checks.

With this kind of security in place for code, no wonder, it is now up to application designers to force secure coding practices into their software. Though nascent at this point, secure coding will gain more momentum. That’s virtually the only area that has vulnerabilities.

A few basic steps can help prevent malware:

  1. Never get tempted to install any type of code.
  2. Always keep the device locked or enable a password protected screen saver.
  3. Do not leave your phone unattended in public places.
  4. Never store passwords on your phone. There are instances of people storing passwords of their other systems onto the cellphone. The technology is still not so mature to offer this kind of security.
  5. Always encrypt the memory cards you put into the phone.
  6. Make sure the phone memory is encrypted too.
  7. Many a times, these basic features enforce security, such that, there is no way but to reset the phone, thereby safeguarding against confidential information theft.
  8. No phone is fully secure. Phishing attacks can still be delivered to your phone. Awareness is the key to better security. Be alert, be aware.