There are some common myths surrounding smart phones,
tablets, and other devices that can connect to the web. These devices, known to those in the security
field as BYOD-devices (Bring Your Own Device), are often times overlooked when
it comes to security. Good computer and Internet security practices are
important parts of daily life, but many don’t realize that these practices need
to be extended to smartphone and tablet usage as well. Recent articles found in
the news illustrate the importance of this concept. Below are a few of the
myths about these devices.
My device doesn’t have the same connections as my
computer and is therefore safer to browse on.
False. A device only
needs to be connected to the Internet to be vulnerable to attack. BYOD-devices
fit this criterion perfectly as they are miniature computers of their own and are
able to connect to the Internet just like any other machine.
I can follow any link on my BYOD-device because it
is more secure than my computer.
False. The device is not more secure than a computer. Just
like on a computer, hyperlinks found in emails, web pages, or documents can be
misleading as they can advertise a path to a known site but then point to someplace
entirely different. These links can lead to malicious sites with malware that
can be downloaded to the device leaving behind key loggers, spyware, adware,
and other viruses.
No one wants the information on my device.
False. Phones and other
such devices are a wealth of information about the user. With today’s
technology flowing through them, BYOD-devices can now determine likes based off
device browser history or Facebook data, the people you talk to most from call
history, interactions with others from texts, work and personal information
from emails, the places logged in GPS, and even a person’s banking information
from banking apps. In current society, a mobile device can define a person’s
All applications in an application store are safe.
False. Anyone can design an app. Applications
don’t have to come from a major company, and may not be developed with the
security as a focus. Even apps with good
intentions can unintentionally be left open to vulnerabilities.
Remember that it is
important to treat every device as you would a computer. Be skeptical about websites you are not
familiar with. Do not follow links that
you are unsure of, don’t share sensitive personal information without verifying
the receiver and research apps and the developer before adding them to your