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Security Tool 2: Disable Networks When Not in Use

Security Tool 2: Disable Networks When Not in Use

Do you have a Bluetooth pairing that you are using right now? No? Why is Bluetooth running on your phone? There is a well known attack, with many attack tools available, called Blue-Snarfing. If your phone pairs (or accepts Bluetooth partners) indiscriminately, a lot of files (your phonebook, your contacts’ information, etc.) just might be available to others. Additionally, running the Bluetooth radio will drain your battery prematurely. Learn the fastest way to disable Bluetooth when not needed.

My new phone has another feature I really enjoy. It has “airplane” mode, one that shuts off the phone radio while allowing me to play music. The interference from all the computers in my work area only drains the battery, as the battery tries to get a signal from the cell network. In times past, I had to shut off my phone. Instead, go rockin’ down that highway and forget phone connectivity until the next break.

Check your phone’s documentation for similar features. Battery uptime helps availability, a key security component on any computing system.

Security Tool 3: Determine to Root or Not to Root

Android rooting is easy. Once the phone is rooted, the owners can install all the software of their choosing. The default applications, “junkware,” can be removed. Interesting tools and applications can be run. So why not do it?

Using your phone with limited permissions can limit the damage a hacker can do if you are tricked into running malware. Additionally, your service may find your alterations make your phone unsupported. I won’t root my phone.

Does installing software from many sources sound interesting? In many phones, there is a setting to keep your software installations restricted to those from the Market. By doing so (and by not rooting your phone), you have a reasonable expectation that the software can be uninstalled easily. You can also check other’s opinions of the software. I prefer the Market and find a lot of what I need there. I wouldn’t recommend finding and installing software from all kinds of sources.

Security Tool 4: Browser Password Caching

Many browsers offer to cache your passwords. These same browsers often reveal their passwords through easy tricks such as JavaScript. Additionally, many tools can raid the browser’s cache of passwords and reveal them to the person who finds your phone. (Hopefully your phone won’t be found without a login PIN or difficult–to-guess, connect-the-dots scheme.)

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