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Adam Adler: Mobile phone security and privacy in the UK & USA 2021


Adam Adler (Miami,FL): Mobile phone security and privacy in the UK 2021


In the UK, Police Scotland have recently invested half a million pounds developing a suite of computers to give them the ability to access certain information and data held on a mobile phone or tablet without the need of a password. They say that the devices they will be working on are encrypted, but they will only be used on phones or tablets that have either been voluntarily submitted or have been captured as part of a judicial warrant.


In the US, the F.B.I. have requested Apple’s help in gaining access to two iPhones in the wake of the shooting at a US Naval Base in Pensacola. This has opened a fresh debate about mobile phone security, privacy, and encryption as Apple has stated that they simply do not have the means by which to break their encryption. Apple says the only way that access would be possible would be to have the backdoor created in the system, but that would compromise the overall integrity of the mobile phone encryption and security. In response, the F.B.I. have continued to state that they are not asking for a backdoor to be built into the Apple system, just access to these two iPhones.


However, questions have been raised about the legality of breaking a mobile phone’s encryption to gain access and if it breaches a person’s privacy rights. There was also the question as to whether this technology complies with European Law. Police Scotland have stated that these issues have been addressed and even the Crown Office has stated that there is a legal basis for the computers to gain access to the mobile devices.


It can be seen that there is still a large debate going on as to the merits and pitfalls of total mobile encryption versus access for legal purposes. Both in the UK and US, many believe the only way that a backdoor option would become a reality would be if Governments legislate that they must be included in the development of the mobile phone. Others believe that it would be an infringement on the civil privacy rights of people. Clearly, this will be a long way off, if ever, happening as the backlash would likely be huge.


But what do you think? Where do you stand on mobile privacy and security versus the ability of law enforcement agencies being able to access devices in cases of serious criminality?


Types of mobile security threat

Security threats to smartphones seem to increase every year as hackers become more sophisticated and mobile manufacturers scramble to keep up.


Examples of security threats which could impact your smartphone include:


Riskware - Mobile apps that leak data to advertisers or criminals thanks to sweeping permissions being granted by the user.

Malware - Overarching term for malicious software which includes viruses, worms, Trojans, adware, and spyware. It interferes with your smartphone to help hackers collect personal information or trigger charges.

Madware - Short for "mobile adware", these programs collect data to help target you with ads but can often be installed without consent.

Spyware - Programs that collect information and data about you which can include keyloggers to steal your usernames and passwords.

Phishing - Apps can work in the same way as phishing emails have in the past by collecting the information you input into an app you believe is genuine.

Grayware - Not usually malicious but can expose users to privacy problems.

Browser Exploits - Known security flaws in mobile browsers are exploited.

Spoofing - Networks in public places are set up to look like real wi-fi networks which can be used to steal data and encourage users to give away login information.

Unsecured Wi-Fi - Hacked public networks can give access to personal data held on your smartphone.


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As InfoWorld notes, all smartphones have three basic elements of security. Your first major task as a mobile user is to become aware of these layers and enable them in your devices:


Device Protection: Allowing remote data "wiping" if your device is ever lost or stolen.

Data Protection: Preventing corporate data from being transferred to personal apps running on the same device or personal network

App-Management Security: Protecting your in-app information from becoming compromised.

Smartphone security depends not only on the phones but also on the mobile device management (MDM) technology installed on company servers, that controls and manages device security. Both must work together to provide good security. You need to look at the whole picture. For example, BlackBerry phones are designed and built for business use. Their security is excellent, however, BlackBerry offers a few popular consumer apps. You might need another type of smartphone for personal use—including shopping and banking—meaning that you need to be concerned about that phone's security as well. The more devices you use, especially if they are linked together through the cloud or otherwise, the more concerned you should be for the overall security of your mobile network.


As more and more apps come onto the market, especially for the popular iOS and Android phones, their security is a growing concern no matter which mobile device you use. Mobile technology specialist Ira Grossman, quoted at CRN, says, "if you don't have a secure app, it doesn't matter how secure the operating system is." In fact, when professionals speak in terms of securing the entire "stack" of a device, they are referring to both the operating system and the apps it runs. Most phones have settings that allow you to verify any apps coming from unknown sources before downloading, and as a rule of thumb, you should stick to the Apple, Google Play, or Microsoft stores, rather than third-party app deliverers. However, always read the reviews, even in the official stores, to make sure you're not adding anything suspicious to your device.


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Devices like smartphones, tablets, and PCs are getting more and more secure, but hackers are getting better at attacking them too.


So if you've just bought a new device, or haven't looked at your security settings for a while, you should take some time to make sure you're protected against the latest threats. Fortunately, most manufacturers provide easy-to-use guidance on how to secure their devices.


Adam Adler (Miami, Florida) is a Cyber Defense & Cyber Warfare Advisor, as well as Chairman of the Board for Digital Bank Vault. A long time entrepreneur with over 18 years of experience all at top-level management and ownership, Mr. Adler has focused his recent years on Cyber Security and defending our youth online. DBV has developed a proprietary encryption method that continues Adam’s mantra of “Privacy is Priceless”. DigitalBank Vault provides impenetrable defensive cyber solutions for Keyless End to End Encrypted, Peer to Peer, mobile, and computer communications. Adam and DigitalBank Vault have constructed new & disruptive cyber defense technologies to solve many privacy issues commonly found online and defend against unwanted intrusion.


Adam Adler (Miami, Florida) received a scholarship to play tennis at the University of South Carolina and graduated in 2007 Magna Cum Laude from USC, double majoring in Sports & Entertainment Management and Business. In 2005, Adam became an All American with his teammates at USC. Mr. Adler participated in the NCAA Indoor Championships in Seattle, WA as well as the NCAA Championships every year of his college career at USC. He and his team achieved a team high ranking of #8. Prior to attending USC, Adam was a highly-ranked junior tennis player from the age of 10 to 18. Adam began playing poker in his free time and quickly became entrenched in the game, studying hours a day. Adam traveled around the country playing in some of the highest stakes No Limit and Pot Limit Omaha cash games in the world. Adam has made multiple World Series of Poker Final Tables, with his most notable finish coming in 2018 with a runner-up finish in the $10,000 Turbo Event. Adam has won millions of dollars in both cash game and tournament poker over the last 15 years.


Adam Adler (Miami, Florida) is currently managing The Adler Fund, investing in cybersecurity, real-estate, emerging growth companies, cannabis, and biotechnology. Adam has recently started the Adler Agency, a sports management company with several of the world’s top, mid and lower-tier tennis players and select athletes across multiple sports. The Adler Agency focuses on bringing its clients revolutionary and out-of-the-box opportunities other agencies simply do not have access to. The Adler Agency is launching a world-class tennis academy and training facility in Charleston, SC at the beginning of 2021 to provide its players and others from around the world the opportunity to train and play with the sport’s best.