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Will the Blackphone make the smartphone world more secure?

Will the Blackphone make the smartphone world more secure?

3/24/2014

Smartphone security has become an increasingly prominent concern in the age of BYOD, identity theft and stealthy malware developments, and it seems that some tech firms are beginning to respond to consumer demands for greater privacy.

The Blackphone makes security a top priority
One device that captured audiences' attention at this year's Mobile World Congress was the Blackphone, an Android-based handset manufactured by GeeksPhone. What makes the Blackphone unique is its focus on security.

Virtually every feature of the phone is enhanced with some added layer of protection. According to The Verge, the Blackphone comes with a suite of apps that offer encryption and other security measures. The phone's Silent Contacts app, for example, safeguards users' contact lists from malicious apps that skim through contact names for cybercriminals' benefit. The Blackphone provides Internet access through a virtual private network that enables the safe transfer of data. Users are also notified about which apps are requesting data access, and information can be restricted from specific programs.

According to Mike Kershaw, the device's chief architect, Blackphone owners will not need to be experts in phone security to operate the phone.

He told MailOnline that owners will be given "the benefit of security without having to have an in-depth knowledge of how to make a phone secure."

Despite the Blackphone's unique security features, some industry experts have expressed concerns about the possibility that criminals could use the device to make their activities more covert. Blackphone managing director Toby Weir-Jones responded to their worries.

"The availability of a tool does not create the intent for mischief. If you're a bad guy, the fact [Blackphone] is making cryptography usable doesn't mean you're going to take that a step further; you're not going to become bad because of that knowledge either," he told MailOnline.

How Blackphone owners and all smartphone users can stay protected
The Blackphone won't be shipped to consumers until June, so it will be difficult to determine how well it stands up to claims until then. Regardless of the security features boasted by smartphone companies, mobile users may still want to take greater strides to make the protection of their data and identities as comprehensive as possible.

ProtectCELL's data protection plan protects smartphone owners in ways that cell phone insurance cannot. The program allows mobile users to back up the information they need - contacts, photos, texts and events - and wipe personal information from their devices in the event that it is lost or stolen.

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