I think that we all know by now that the next frontier for when it comes to black hat hackers versus the good guys is the mobile phone space. Over the last few years mobile phones have evolved from devices which we used only phone calls and texting to something that we have come to look at more as a mini computer. While even right now there are still more normal cell phones in use than smart phones worldwide, the tide is quickly changing and that number will not stand for long. This is especially true now that we see the number of cheap smart phones rise. For a lot of people who live in rural areas around the world it will make less sense for them to get a computer than it would for them to get a cheap smart phone.
But the problem with the rise of all of the smart phones around the world is that we are starting to see a lot of the same problems that we saw with the rise of computers around the world. And that problem is that most people do not know how to keep their system safe. If they had problems with keeping their computers safe, what makes the industry think that these same people are going to be able to keep their smart phones safe?
Which is safer Android or IPhone?
So far, while Blackberry, which was considered to be the safest smart phone at one time, was the leader in the industry, it has now been pushed aside by both the IPhone and a select group of Android based phones. The IPhones are brought to you by Apple and the Android based phones come from different companies but the operating system comes from Google.
For right now the IPhone has an advantage when it comes to security because Apple closes a lot of the access to the phone off. If you want to be able to install an application to the phone then you have to go through the iTunes store to do it. With Google, if you change a couple of settings in the phone then you are able to install apps from anywhere on the internet. While this gives you more freedom as the end user this can also put you in danger as well.
Another problem when it comes to the safety of these two phones comes from the actual app store. While Apple heavily regulates their app store, Google does not and relies on the community more for safety checks. So while this method is effective it does tend to leave bigger security holes than the Apple method. But be assured, Apple and the IPhone has had their share of hacks. There is an entire community out there that runs hacked IPhones. They want the IPhone experience but with the freedom of an Android. But it has not only been friendly hacks against the IPhone. There have been serious exploits that the people of Apple have had to release fixes for. With any computer you have to worry about exploits. So that leads us to our next question. Will the Android operating system be able to stop most of the exploits out there?
Do you have to worry about exploits when it comes to Android based phones?
Usually when you run across an exploit with an Android phone, it is one that is going to be targeted at a normal computer. Most likely a Windows based PC. This gives you two advantages, one you are not on a PC but a phone and you have a different underlying chip set, and two the Android operating system is Linux based. So when you are surfing the web on your phone these two facts should help you a lot.
But when it comes to exploits that focus directly on Android phones, then yes, unless you take the right precautions you can easily become a victim. Android phones have been out for several years now and the more popular that they become, the more hackers are going to see them as a target. For years Apple computers were safe from most attacks because they ran a different architecture than PCs but that switched and by chance they also started to become more popular. So protection by obscurity should not be something that is relied upon.
So just like your computer at home, make sure that your phone is up to date and also has some of the protection software that it needs to run safely. You have to remember that it is not just a phone that you are dealing with, it is a mini computer.