Is Smartphone Addiction A Security Risk Apart From Posing Health Hazards?
Apart from the fact that the device is posing immense risks to our health, there is another aspect that needs to be brought forth and that is cybersecurity. Haven’t we all heard it all before – our unhealthy obsession with our smartphones as also our complete dependence and inability to put them down for over 3 minutes at a stretch? Studies and research show that the fear has been immaculately legitimized given the fact that an individual spends almost 5 hours each day on her/his gadget. Apart from the fact that the device is posing immense risks to our health, there is another aspect that needs to be brought forth and that is cybersecurity.
Our collective smartphone addiction has offered opportunities for cybercriminals on a silver platter. There are loads of us who aren’t exactly the most savvy when it comes to using our smartphones even when they have become an essential and unputdownable part of our lives.
Smartphones sensors are in most probability always by our sides throughout our waking hours and sometimes even when we are asleep. As part of our handbags, knapsacks, dinner tables or mantles, smartphones are usually never switched off, even when not in use. And these very sensors have managed to find their ways into each corner of our daily lives. The data present in the phones present a clear danger where privacy is concerned. Google Play store has removed up to 20 apps from Android phones and its app store. These apps were misusing their access to the aforementioned sensors. Some apps go beyond recording conversations, they can identify the phone’s location, and pull out data, all without the user having an inkling about the same.
Imagine someone with access to our bank accounts, our preferential shopping sites, and the knowledge of where we are at all given times. Treated as just another simple device designed to make our lives more convenient, we forget the advanced technologies this small machine harnesses. And this is what the hackers make the most of. From incessantly innovating more sophisticated hacking means and methods, there are app creators, phishing, identity thefts, data breach and much more.
At McAfee, three or more new cases of malware are tackled each day. And mobile malware has the highest share at 42 percent year on year. While it took up to 22 years for PC malware to come up with around two million samples, it has taken mobile less than half of that time.
An example and a case in point could be speech-to-text translation. To cater to this, the phone would require sound frequencies and a string of specific words following one another in an articulate sentence. These very sound frequencies could also lend itself to helping a hacker with a ready app that could help identify a speaker’s identity.
All said and done, not only does the smartphone impact our health at physical, as well as emotional levels but also the implications of careless smartphone usage are extremely far reaching and severe. We need to delve into this matter a bit more seriously than we are taking it currently. Each one of us that hasn’t employed security measures on their smartphones is funding criminal activity.
We need to put down our cell phones and disconnect to connect with our near and dear ones. As for the time we pick them up, we have to be doubly sure that they are properly protected. This will not just be good for our mental health but also help stop the hackers right where they are!