CONTROVERSIAL DECISION SETS UP INEVITABLE REMATCH
Much has been made about encryption lately. And on some level, you probably have a vague idea about what it means. Maybe?
You might recall, for instance, all those news headlines about the FBI and Apple battling each other over this highly contentious issue in a very public way. Some heavy hitters such as Google and Facebook have also weighed in on this issue—taking and supporting Apple’s position. Oh and by the way, Apple won that fight.
FOR YOUR EYES ONLY...MAYBE
Security experts advise that encryption is necessary and important—especially in our current 24/7-connected environment where everything is done on a smartphone. Law enforcement and intelligence officials, however, have been warning that the growing use of encryption could seriously hinder criminal and national security investigations. Should tech companies be obliged to guarantee government access to encrypted data on smartphones and other digital devices, and is that even possible without compromising the security of law-abiding customers?
Encryption keeps your “stuff” safe from unwanted eyes. By having your information scrambled so that only the person you are sending it to can see it, your privacy is maintained and your information remains secure.
WHERE YOU GO, SO GOES YOUR SMARTPHONE
Most anyone in business, when asked about encryption, will acknowledge technology is woven into our daily lives so intricately that we can’t do without it. A great example of that is our use of smartphones. The proliferation of smartphones in business environments has introduced new risks; namely the potential for sensitive data loss via stolen or lost devices. One way to protect smartphone data is with encryption.
New privacy-protection apps are available that can provide alternative ways to communicate securely. Overall, the number of commercial smartphone encryption software is still small, but it is growing at a rapid clip as more organizations realize what a critical vulnerability these devices can represent. The increasing use of encrypted storage extends well beyond the iPhone or the similar option that Google offers on new Android OS versions. Windows and Apple offer simple settings to encrypt the contents of personal computers, and several cloud storage companies encrypt the data they host with keys known only to their customers.
So let’s review what options we’re left with then.
And so this debate over encryption on smartphones and messaging apps is not over by any means. In fact, it’s poised to heat up again on Capitol Hill after it peaked last winter when Apple denied an FBI request to help unlock a terrorist's iPhone. Stay tuned for this rematch fight that once again pits privacy rights against national security.
GOT PRIVACY PROTECTION?
Here’s a short list of messaging apps for secured smartphone communication.