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Unsecured smartphones increase risk of data theft

As powerful, technological gadgets become more and more commonplace in our day-to-day lives, we are faced with the danger of becoming increasingly vulnerable to data-theft and phishing scams. While many of us are aware of the risks of using unsecured network connections on our desktop computers at work or at home, fewer people realise the threats that they can be exposed to when using smartphones, tablets and laptops to access public wi-fi networks on the go. With the risk of attack just as great, if not greater, on these devices, making use of a virtual private network is a wise, first step towards protecting your sensitive data.


Many smartphone owners access personal or work e-mails on their device. By not making the most of available forms of security protection, such as a VPN service, they increase the chances of hackers accessing their handset, when connected to public wi-fi, who can take private information without the user realising.


Technology blogger Richard Greco recently claimed on the Cellcrypt website that hackers can purchase the technology required to intercept voice calls for as little as $1,500. To make matters worse, victims of such crimes are unlikely to be able to tell that their conversations have been tapped into, until they find out that their sensitive information has been used by somebody else. More and more companies, whose employees have work phones, are taking advantage of VPN services to minimise these risks, in a similar way to what they have done for office desktop machines and company laptops.


In his article, 'The Important Advantages of Using VPN Services', Muhammad Azam advises all technology users to go through a virtual private network, rather than a proxy network, to help remain safe from cyber crime. The tech blogger claims that the providers of VPN services (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/free-vpn-for-chrome-vpn-p/majdfhpaihoncoakbjgbdhglocklcgno) "use the best security mechanisms", offering good protection for laptops, smartphones and tablets. VPN services are typically affordable for both businesses and individuals, at a price that is far cheaper than the potential fall-out should a cyber criminal manage to access your private information.


Worst online security breaches of all time

As businesses, governments and individuals have steadily grown more reliant on digital technology and online communications, they have also become exposed to the threat of criminal interference in these systems on which we now so heavily rely.


Whilst many of us have been told of the daily dangers of phishing scams and hackers, who will stealthily extract personal information or financial data, there are other more astounding breaches of online security which have cost businesses and organisations millions of pounds.


Back in July of 2007, Fidelity National Communications Services fell victim to one of its employees, who broke into a secure database and stole customer records of credit card details and personal information. The information was sold on to a marketing company for an undisclosed sum before the perpetrator was arrested, jailed for nine months and ordered to pay a $3.2 million fine. The millions of customers affected by the scam were also each awarded $20,000.


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