The NewsDemon Blog

Smartphones Vulnerabilities Reveal Private Information

By Newsgroup Usenet August 9th, 2010

If you’re one of the thousands who uses a smartphone to hold all of your data, you might want to reconsider what you put on there.

As some newsgroups point out, although smartphones are great at providing turn-by-turn directions, help you find the closest gas station and keep you updated on social network sites, most also store all of this information which is extremely valuable for bad guys.

Loose your phone, and you may find more things revealed about yourself than you’d imagine. Forensic experts have said that iPhones and other smartphones can provide extensive amount of both digital fingerprints as well footprints. This can allow crooks who may get in possession of your phone to exact where you’ve been, who you’ve communicated with and other personal information.

“There’s plenty of information an iPhone hangs onto,” Jonathan Zdziarski, author of iPhone Forensics “For example, the iPhone takes a screen shot every time you hit the home button, including shots of your e-mail with the time stamped on it.”

Since most nowadays come equipped with a GPS, camera, browser and other online tools, a wealth of information could be at the fingertips of someone you’d probably rather not want to share with, including:

Mapping software will store locations you’ve searched or directions you’ve received.

The auto correcting typing feature of iPhones actually stores words you’ve typed, which could potentially be accessed months after a message was sent and deleted.

Photos taken with the phone can contain information about where, when and with which device the image was captured.

Web browser information is also often stored, such as reservations the owner has made or sites they have visited.

The iPhone may be in the limelight for this type of information, but the Blackberry, Windows Mobile and even Android phones also can be dangerous.

Another thing to note is that text messages, other than those stored on your phone, are in most cases kept by your service provider as well. Having access to your phone, it may be easier for some to grab a hold of personal information to retrieve those records as well.

Be cautious when using your phone and pay close attention to how you use it and where you keep it. As Jonathon states: “People need to be aware that that racy picture you took is still going to be on there even after you delete it,” he warned. “So figure out what information is valuable to you, and don’t put that on your phone.”