So does keeping, mining and monetizing our data over privacy make these guys evil?

Personally, I don’t think this makes them evil but I do think we have to acknowledge that they made a conscious choice in choosing between privacy and the business model.

MTN, GLO ETISALAT also keeps records of phone calls, text messages, all locations visited for a long time. These Telco’s don’t need to mine private user data to subsidize the service as they make more than enough profit to protect user’s data but they give out those details to the government when the request comes. They are all embedded with government agencies so you can’t get any privacy protection. The services here are been paid for but for free services, there will always be a clash between business model and privacy. If we want privacy from Facebook, yahoo and App developers, we have to start paying for the service.

Tips on how to improve privacy and security on your device: from eavesdroppers and help you from getting infected with spyware that could cost you your identity.

Going forward, users are recommended to follow a number of best practices that optimize both their privacy and security on their mobile devices.

Most importantly, users need to begin to look more closely at the permissions their apps request of them. We should use common sense to ask whether a particular app really needs access to the information it wants. If it doesn’t, we’re better off doing some research online and looking for safer alternatives. Applying common sense most times is all we need protecting our online identity, data and devices. It is up to us to take up the responsibility.

Some useful Tips:

Tip 1.  Disable your GPS at all time except in an emergency or when you need to use your smartphone for navigation purposes;

Tip 2.   Disable your NFC (Near Field Communications) or on Apple devices, iBeacon, unless you need them enabled for critical applications (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT6048);

Tip 3.  Disable Bluetooth at all times except when you are in your car, driving, if you want to have hands-free calls, if supported by your car;

Tip 4.  Verify Apps behavior and privacy risk BEFORE installing – do some research and ask the questions “why does this app need GPS, MICROPHONE, WEBCAM, CONTACTS, etc.?” – most apps don’t need these ports unless they want to invade your privacy. Find an alternative before installing risky Apps;

Tip 5.  Either put masking tape over your webcam and microphone when not in use or pull the battery out of your smartphone when you are not using it.

Obviously for #1, there’s no need for geolocating you, unless you don’t mind being spied upon by

these malicious apps – or worse – your children’s location being monitored by online predators. Best to keep this hardware port disabled until you really need it.

For #2, you’re probably wondering “what the heck is NFC and why should I care? ”. Well, it’s a new protocol for ‘bumping’ or getting close to other devices, within 3 meters or so, to exchange information such as photos and contacts. Is it secure? No. Can it be hacked just like Bluetooth? Yes. Go into your device settings, find NFC, if you see it, disable it.

Ok, for #3, you’re thinking ‘that makes sense’ – Bluetooth is an easily hacked protocol and folks can eavesdrop on communications over Bluetooth; broadcast into your earpiece (yes, it’s been done); access your contacts list and hack your smartphone device over Bluetooth. So, if you disable this protocol everywhere except when you are in the car, wanting a hands free experience for making and receiving calls, you should be much more secure.

For #4, how many times do you install a free app with excitement about promised features and functions, only to find that it requires incredible privacy risk? If it’s too good to be true it probably is and nothing in this world is free.

There are 9 major advertisement networks and some deploy spyware. Some free apps use these networks to monetize their businesses and some are developed by professional cyber criminals, enemy nation states for spying or by hackers for malicious reasons.

#5, There’s really nothing you can do to block webcam and microphone eavesdropping, so why not make it hard for the bad guys to see or hear anything useful? SOLUTION: Some of the free Apps write settings and have access to your device storage; it may be to install additional backdoors or remote access Trojans (RATs). Therefore you might need to reset your phone completely after an uninstall of your favorite App. Some might even wish to go to FACTORY RESET or a WIPE. Once you’ve cleaned off the App RAT, you might still want the right app on your phone that you can trust, make sure you follow the rules. What about Apple iPhone and iPad or Microsoft WindowsPhone apps? The apps pre-installed on the Apple iPhone appear to be safe. However in both the iTunes store and on the Windows Phone app store, Most 3rd party apps access various hardware ports. The ports they access while they are running includes Webcam, Location Services, using your GPS and other coarse location based Internet. In addition, they use your Internet connection. The good news is that on these two operating systems apps like this cannot hide in the background. The bad news is when you download some Apps on these two platforms, they are still building up a profile on users including your location, and are able to send and receive information over the Internet – totally unnecessary for a basic App.

WARNING: Don’t reset or wipe without backing up ONLY those contacts and files you are certain to trust. If you do a complete device backup and restore, you risk also restoring malware. Ask a friend who is an expert with your kind of phone or contact the ICT unit, you may also wish to contact the staff at the store you purchased your smartphone or tablet on how to do this the right way.

UNINSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS for Android Apps: 1. Visit your device’s Settings menu > Apps or Application manager (this may differ depending on your device). 2. Touch the app you’d like to uninstall. 3. Select Uninstall.

The management of Federal Polytechnic Nekede, recognizing the importance of information security and privacy in the repositioning of the institution both nationally and internationally did not shy away from offering full support and material empowerment to those responsible for information security management.

As a step in a positive direction in protecting the Staff / Students’ data & information exchange, and in order to free up strained Server resources, we decided to partner with Microsoft. The platform provided by Microsoft for information exchange is based on ISO 27001 framework with built-in malware and spam filtering capabilities that help protect inbound and outbound email messages from malicious software and help protect staff and students’ data from spam and hackers. The partnership will provide a platform for the customized fpno.edu.ng domain for all staff and students e.g. rector@fpno.edu.ng

We saw the partnership with Microsoft as a great way of combining institutional system with technology that the staff and the new generation of students were most familiar with. The Microsoft collaboration platform is designed to help meet our Institution’s needs for content security and data usage compliance with legal regulation.

Prepared by ICT

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