We trust our electronics to pay bills and make purchases online, not to mention they store all of our personal information. With so much information stored on devices like Android smartphones and consoles like the Sony Playstation 3, one has to wonder just how safe and secure they are. The answer it seems is that they are not very secure at all.
Google calls foul play
Just recently Google dropped a bombshell and confirmed that there was a major security flaw in its ever popular Android operating system. Seeing that there are over 400,000 Android smartphones and tablets being activated every single day, the amount of loss that could have occurred could have been catastrophic.
A team of German researchers discovered that Android devices that were connected to unsecured Wi-Fi networks could have easily been hacked from remote operators. Once hacked, all information stored on phone could have been accessed by the hacker. Fortunately Google reacted swiftly, and quickly sent out a patch to Android devices around the world.
How can you stay safe on Android?
While the exploit has been fixed there are still some things that users of Android devices can do to make sure that they are safe.
By going to the app store and downloading an Anti-Virus app, end users can have peace of mind that their phone will be protected in the event that they download an app that may contain a virus. Users should also try to refrain from joining unsecured networks, like the ones you would find at Starbucks, or the local library. One last thing would be to only install applications that you know of, and never install apps that come from anywhere other than Google authorized app stores.
As a user of an Android powered smartphone I can say that I am incredibly happy at the way Google dealt with this problem. They moved quickly, identified the problem, and fixed it within 36 hours of the breach. If only all companies were equal when it comes to this.
Sony falls victim too
If you had not heard about the Android problem, then you surely have heard about the breach that Sony has suffered. Sony’s highly popular Playstation Network which lets users play and purchases games online was recently targeted by hackers.
The biggest difference between the Sony breach and the Google breach is that Sony reacted very poorly to the situation. In fact everyone who had ever signed up for the service (some 50 million) had all of their information stolen, including credit card numbers, phone numbers, and addresses.
Sony’s security around the Playstation network was incredibly weak. In fact there was not even a Firewall protecting its servers. The hackers were smart, and they left hardly any traces of the attack. The only thing that was found on Sony’s servers was a calling card left by a group called Anonymous.
After many attempts to fix the security flaws in its network, Sony has failed every time. When they say they have fixed the problem, the network gets hacked again. Two months after the initial attacks, there has been a further 10 breaches in their security systems.
There are obviously some flaws in the security that companies employ when it comes to protecting your personal information, but do not let it stop you from using, and enjoying the many wonderful things that your gadgets can do. Just be careful what information you share, and you should be just fine.
This guest post is by Brett Day , from Moore, Oklahoma. He is a featured contributor for Associated Content in Technology. He has a huge interest in the world of technology, home theater, and video games. Brett loves writing and sharing his knowledge on all of these subjects.