Sunday, April 9, 2017

Three steps to secure messaging (by Teen Vogue)

Can an outsider eavesdrop on the SMS texts that you send from your phone? Of course they can. Can you take steps to thwart that type of activity? The answer is yes, and it is something that you and your kids should be proactive about doing.

I work for a progressive data privacy platform provider, which makes me a huge fan of Internet privacy. Recently, a friend of mine from my organization's security operations center shared this article with me: How to Keep Messages Secure, posted in March 2017.

It is enlightening to see a youth magazine educating its readers in the Internet security arena. We need more sharing like this, across the globe. Talk to your kids about the three steps described in Teen Vogue:
  1. Keep your phone operating system (OS) updated—whether it be Android or iOS. For help, just google the phone OS name with the word "updating" or "patching" (i.e., updating Android).
  2. Set a long PIN to unlock your phone, and don't use personal dates (like anniversaries) or years (such as your birth year) in your PIN. Better yet, use biometric authentication (like a fingerprint) or a passphrase (as opposed to a shorter password) where offered.
  3. Use a secure messaging app instead of SMS for texting—for example, Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, or Signal. 
For details, see the entire article or go to this one from Business News Daily: 5 Best Secure Messaging Apps. Stay safe online!

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