Privacy on the Smartphone: Using Crowdsourcing to Protect against Viruses and Data Theft
Nowadays, malicious viruses, Trojans and worms are not only endemic to home computers. Usually invisible threats, they are increasingly causing difficulties for many smartphones. It is therefore not unusual that enthusiastic users of web-enabled mobile phones not only install the desired app, but also a hardly perceivable pest on their smartphone. Unfortunately just a few clicks are enough to grant viruses or spy ware unrestricted access to all private data.
To reduce the risk of viruses the user ought to fall back on apps purchased from the official storesof the mobile phone manufacturer. But here too one should be on the watch before plunging into download enjoyment. However, if you really want to be sure that the new weather app, flashlight or the fun Jump-and-Run game are not contaminated with pests, always read the small print and check what rights you are permitting the apps to grab when you click on “Install”.
To provide the users of Android smartphones with additional protection against data theft, researchers in two US universities are having apps examined via crowdsourcing therefore ensuring more overview in the data protection jungle. As a result of the activities at Rutgers and Carnegie Mellon Universities, all the apps in question will be generated with individual warning messages that supply the user with an evaluation of the safety of the small programs.
This way, the often annoying data protection regulations and privacy settings are summarized and eventually help avoid blind acceptance on the part of the users.