Mobile Device Security
Mobile device security is the use of method and practices to secure the data and other information stored on the mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets Securing the data is one of the major concerns of mobile technology due to heavy use of mobile devices. Common mobile security issues are data loss or mobile theft In these conditions, the users not only lose theft mobile phone, but also lose the vital data and sensitive information stored on it. Device data leakage to untrusted party is another issue that victim faces on losing his device.
Need of Mobile Device Security
Hackers are ready with every possible trick to get an access into the users’ mobile device. Hence the mobile device security is a must to protect the data from hackers. There is no shortage of people, who breach the security norms to exploit mobile users and earn profits. The recent introduction of mobile wallets has evoked hackers to increase the crime in the form of virtual pickpockets.
Though these devices are provided with protection standards like encryption and password security, the users must be aware of the security threats and ways to avoid them.
Mobile Operating System
An operating system especially designed for mobiles devices to allow them to run applications and programs is called a mobile Operating System (OS) when the power button on a mobile device is pressed, the mobile OS loads the necessary files to run the OS and shows the home screen filled with icons of different applications (or apps). Activities like managing phone calls, connecting with wireless networks, web browsing, exchanging text messages and executing other applications are managed by the mobile OS. Some of the Mobile Operating Systems that are used globally are:
iOS: Owned by Apple, iOS is a mobile operating system specially designed for Apple’s hardware. It is installed on devices, such as iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch and has a direct manipulation based user interface. It operates using multi-touch gestures to control elements such as buttons, sliders and switches.
Android: Owned by Google, Android is an open source operating system designed for touch screen mobile devices. The OS is based on the Linux kernel and allows developers to make programs as per their choice by accessing unlocked hardware. It operates using touch gestures to control actions like swiping, pinching, tapping and entering text using the virtual keyboard.
Windows Mobile: Owned by Microsoft, Windows Mobile is a mobile operating system designed for smartphones. Windows Mobile OS can be recognised by tiled set up and dubbed metro, through which tiles can be moved and interchanged using the metro. Users can browse the web using mobile-optimized version of Internet Explorer, known as Edge in Windows 10 Mobile.
IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) is a unique number, which is used to identify mobile handsets (using UMTS, GSM and LTE networks) or devices which connect to a cellular network. IMEI is as important as the phone’s operating system and is printed on every phone inside the battery space. There is also a code that you can enter and display the IMEI number on the handset screen using USSD. This code varies from operator to operator.
IMEI number is also used to prevent the threat of mobile theft. GSM networks use the IMEI number to identify legal devices and can block the stolen phone from accessing the network. The victim whose phone is stolen can call his network provider and ask them to blacklist the phone by providing them the IMEI number to prevent the device from being misused.
Role of IMEI Number
An IMEI number (eg. 568438126755154) is useful for many events, such as:
- Mobile phone usage can be tracked by cell phone provider using IMEI number.
- Subscribers can be identified using IMEI number.
- Gadget type can be recognised using IMEI number.
- Remote device can be easily disabled using IMEI number if stolen.