What is your “Risk of Exposure” (Part 1)

If you have visited my other site about Encryption for Windows, Encrypt-away.com, you will already know that I am a fan of full-disk encryption and believe that every computer user should have it installed regardless!  So you might be surprised to learn that my smartphone is NOT encrypted.
I decided to first determine my “risk of exposure” if my phone was lost or stolen.  In other words, what is IN and ON my phone that I should be worried about.  This is what I discovered:
1.    Google Email Password is Saved:  That would provide access to my google account and the credit card on file with Google.  Card could be cancelled; password could be reset as soon as the phone was missing???

2.    PLAYSTORE has saved password and credit card on file

3.    All contacts and contact phones

4.    Two other email accounts have stored passwords.

5.    Facebook account password is stored.  Easily changed?

6.    NO banking or other money apps have passwords stored.  NONE; NEVER save banking passwords.

7.    Skype has saved password (and credit card on file)

8.    Viber, Wechat, WhatsApp, and LINE saved access (tied to sim #).

9.    Access app for the company private forum has saved password.

10.    Gcloud storage has saved password.

11.    Pictures: just family and misc non-critical pictures.  I wouldn’t want the picture of me hugging Shrek to be blasted online, but I wouldn’t die or go to jail for any of the pics.  Friends might be unhappy with me that their pictures were shared with “outsiders”, even though there are no nudes or “nasties”.

12.    Any messages I have received along with the contents of my “makes notes” application.  The most personal info there would be some medical history notes, directions to my apartment, and a few misc other files.

So as far as I can tell, this list represents my exposure if I lose my phone.  And of this information, only the Pictures and Videos are located on my SD card.  The rest is in internal phone memory.

What about you?  What is your “risk of loss”?  Do you have photos of you or someone else in “compromising positions”?  Have you downloaded images that could get you in trouble?

Why did I consider looking at my potential loss exposure instead of choosing “full disk encryption” already built into Android, since I am “such a fan of full disk encryption”?

In English, we have an idiom used sometimes to describe that someone (or something) thinks or acts like they are “better” than they are.  We say, “She ain’t all that”, to imply that she considers herself to be number one, but others around her do not.

 

 

Global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment. Glaciers have shrunk, ice on rivers and lakes is breaking up earlier, plant and animal ranges have shifted and trees are flowering sooner.

We support ClimateStar.

Android Full Disk Encryption “AIN’T ALL THAT!” (Part 2)

Android full disk encryption is NOT the same as Windows Full Disk Encryption.  It is not just the fault of the encryption, but also an overall difference in concept between a smartphone and a computer.

In a computer, you must reboot to the password screen or “dismount” your secure container in order to protect your contents and prevent anyone from accessing your data.  Since you don’t need your computer 24/7, turning it off or rebooting your computer isn’t that difficult.

In a smartphone however, the situation is different.  When you choose to activate full disk encryption in Android:

1.    Only a small […] Continue Reading…

Other Methods to Secure your Data and your Phone (Part 3)

Don’t read more than what I am saying: Full-Disk Encryption for Android isn’t worth the trouble in my opinion. My opinion may change as the overall full-disk solution is improved and the specific weaknesses are addressed.

But there are other ENCRYPTION METHODS available for Android that you SHOULD consider. 

(SPECIAL NOTE: We talk about and provide download links to software that we are personally familiar with. There are likely to be dozens of other applications that are similar. None of our links are affiliate links and unfortunately we don’t make any money from the companies we suggest).

What is it that MOST […] Continue Reading…

If you can’t secure it, DELETE IT! (Part 4)

There are many apps that allow you to access your phone remotely and delete all of the contents on your phone. In other words, once you know your phone is gone, it is best to wipe all the data to make it more difficult for the “new” owners of your phone to recover your private data.

Unfortunately, (there is a “HOWEVER”): Remotely wiping your phone usually only involves a factory reset. As we read previously, using recover tools or “undelete” software, data deleted with the “factory reset” function can easily be recovered.

On the other hand, if you are going to […] Continue Reading…

Making Full Disk Encryption “all that” with an app! (Part 5)

Previously I mentioned that the encryption password and the lock screen password must be the same.  And since we have to turn the phone on and off hundreds of times each day, no one wants to enter a 16-digit alphanumeric (letters and numbers and characters) each and every time!  Therefore I stated that Android full disk encryption is weak because it is based on the 4-6 digit (usually numbers only!) screen lock password!

Make sure you understand the limits:  Android full disk encryption only encrypts the /data folder.  This folder contains the phone user’s data – this is where the […] Continue Reading…

More Security Tips for your Android (Part 6)

There are other apps and programs for privacy, safety and security of your Android phone.  I haven’t addressed them because so much press has already been dedicated to them.  However, now that I have covered the main part of encryption, I will remind you of a few things to consider.

AVAST ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE:  Yes, you should have it.  Read, research and choose the one you want.  I chose Avast Mobile Security (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.avast.android.mobilesecurity&hl=en)   It is free, well respected and works extremely well.  There is also a free anti-theft section of avast to help you find your phone if it were lost.

ANDROIDLOST.com:  […] Continue Reading…