The first cell phones came onto the market in the early 80s weighing around 2 lbs and costing just under $4,000. Over the next three decades their look became sleeker, their names edgier, and their price tag smaller. However, could the newest technology, the smartphone, present its own set of issues that are much more malicious then clunky size?
Smartphones, like the new iPhone, Android, and Blackberry, are rising in popularity and thousands of applications, commonly called apps, are available to make a user’s personal and professional life easier. The potential danger lies in these enticing apps.
Researchers and government officials are now concerned that malicious software could be attached to apps. Smartphone technology has grown quickly and security and regulation concerning apps are struggling to keep up. This is especially worrisome for people who use their smartphone to access personal, financial, or work-related information.
“Mobile phones are a huge source of vulnerability,” warned Gordon Snow of the FBI’s Cyber Division. “We are definitely seeing an increase in criminal activity.”
Some organizations who issue smartphones to employees are now questioning how to protect issued mobile devices. One way has been to eliminate apps. Several government agencies, including the FBI and U.S. Air Force, ban employees from downloading apps to protect against malware that could compromise bank accounts or access sensitive security intelligence.
While most consumers don’t have to worry about espionage when deciding on which app they want to download, experts caution all users to be careful when downloading anything onto their smartphones.
Wall Street Journal