Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Smartphone apps: not so smart if you lose your phone

Smartphone apps are quick, convenient ways to access your favourite information.  It is effectively a shortcut on your phone that links directly to your Google+, email, weather or TV guide.  I even have an app from my bank that allows me to buy airtime.

Smartphone apps are made for quick access: just press the button and the info you want appears.  No usernames, no passwords, just a quick uninhibited flow of the info you want.  And the apps look really slick to boot.  My Gmail account, something important to me, can be accessed by anyone who happens to have my phone in their hands.  All they need to do is press the shortcut on the screen and they can view any message in my inbox or type an email and send it from my email address.

Now I know that certain functionality on smartphone apps are limited.  For example, you cannot edit your profile information on the Facebook app.  However you can still accept/reject friend request and send messages.  If someone gets hold of my phone and they don't like me, they can cause a world of inconvenience for me.  They can read my messages, emails and buy airtime by pressing a few buttons. There are no security measures to interrupt their spree.  A phone isn't the hardest thing to lose or have stolen from you.

My old non-smart phone required login names and passwords.  So smartphone app designers, how about some smart security measures?

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