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Android Cellphones Handhelds Security IT

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Protect Data On Android? 238

Posted by timothy
from the big-ax-and-many-many-guns dept.
Gibbs-Duhem writes "It makes me very nervous that my Android phone has access to my email/AIM/G-talk/Facebook, protected only by a presumably fairly easily hacked geometric password protection scheme. Even more because simply attaching the phone to a USB port allows complete access to the internal memory and SD card regardless of whether a password is entered. I have no idea how much of that information ranging from cached emails to passwords stored in plaintext is accessible when mounting the device as a USB drive, and that worries me." For the rest of Gibbs-Duhem's question about issues in Android security, read on below.
Gibbs-Duhem continues:"I have a lot of sensitive information in my email, including passwords for websites and confidential business/technical strategy discussions (not to mention personal emails ranging from racy emails from boyfriends to health discussions). My email and messaging client passwords are difficult to type (or even remember), so I would ideally want them saved in the device, although at least having something like a keyring password that needed to be re-entered after a time delay would make me feel better. This leaves me relying on encryption and OS level security to protect me.

I'm okay with this on my real laptop and computers as my hard disks are software encrypted and I make a habit of locking my session whenever I leave my desk. For instance, if I lost my laptop, the odds of the thief getting access to my information is minimal. However, I don't feel that this is at all true for my phone (which is frankly far more likely to be lost).

How is it that the Slashdot security pros handle this issue? Do you just not use email or the many other incredibly convenient capabilities of new Android smartphones due to the risk? Or are there specific ways in which we can guarantee (or at least greatly augment) the existing security practices?"
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Protect Data On Android?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 28, 2011 @07:14PM (#36915096)

    FWIW, the Droid 3 has full device encryption (Android 2.3.4). You can encrypt the whole phone, or just the internal memory card & SD card. It also has a time-lock password/pin/pattern that kicks in after 1-20 minutes (configurable). I was very surprised after upgrading from a Droid 1, which has basically no device protection what so ever...

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