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f.pier
Topic Author
Posts: 1407
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2000 2:50 am

Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:57 am

Using smartphones & tablets can be a really big danger for our privacy.
I use a Samsung android device (which runs very well), so I need to protect my data from Google and Samsung itself.
First of all I have no synchronization, no geolocalization, no cloud and I active my GPS only when I need navigation (and in that case I use openstreetmap offline, not Google maps...).
For email I don't use commercial accounts but my friends have an independent email service hosted on their own server.
I never use Samsung email program, but only K9.
I only use a few times SMS service because I know that telephone providers can store all my messages and I don't like this, so I installed chatsecure and I send only crypted messages.
I also put some scotch on front and back cameras because I don't know if the device takes pictures while using it.
Apps and widgets? No Google play or Samsung's apps, but f-droid, for example.
No social like Facebook, twitter, instagram, whatsapp.

And then, I'm perfectly aware that the electronic keyboard can send data about what I write, but I don't know how to protect myself by this.

I talked about Samsung and Google because I use those tools, but it's the same thing with other brands or operating systems. I was really astonished when I first saw a friend of mine using the finger to enter his iPhone. I would never, never give my biological data to any phone maker.

Remember that at the moment many of us live in free countries, but one day things can change and a dictator can take the power. In that case I think it's much better not to give him many data about ourselves....

Any suggestions about how to improve privacy?
 
steman
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RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:28 pm

While some of your worries may be shared,
I find the extent you go to protect your data to be on the verge of Paranoia.

I don´t do much to protect my data, I think I am an average Smartphone user.
I have and HTC One and I have accounts on Google and Facebook.
I only download apps from the Play Store (and scan them with an antivirus before installing)
Google knows everything about me. But they might deem me very uninteresting since I never
get targeted by ads. Or if I do, I don´t notice, which means they are not that effective.

I don´t see the Point in having a Smartphone if you end up not using most of its Features and you
even cover the cameras. Why don´t you go for a legacy phone then? They are very robust and
batteries last Ages compared to smartphones!
 
Rara
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RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:59 pm

I use Google, Facebook and Weixin, keep geolocation on, and I don't encrypt my SMS. I realize Google knows where I am, but that doesn't bother me. I don't share personal information with Facebook because I find them less trustworthy than Google.

I do protect my Google account with frequent password changes and two-step verification, however, because whoever can access my Google account can get a pretty detailed insight into my personal details.
Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
 
photopilot
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Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2002 11:16 am

RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:15 pm

WOW, the OP sounds completely paranoid to me.

First off, even without GPS, the very fact that you carry a cellphone (smartphone or legacy type), you can be tracked from the cellphone towers themselves.

Also, every single time you do a search for ANYTHING on any search engine, you leave a tiny bit of knowledge about yourself and your interests. Over time, they can build a pretty accurate portrait of who you are, your interests and habits.

The only thing I refuse to do is any on-line banking service from my smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S4) other than their app to let me fine a cash-machine if I need one. But NEVER access your accounts or financial information from a phone.

Any phone user has to be smart, not paranoid. Big difference.
 
f.pier
Topic Author
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RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:10 pm

Quoting photopilot (Reply 3):
First off, even without GPS, the very fact that you carry a cellphone (smartphone or legacy type), you can be tracked from the cellphone towers themselves.

It's true but only your network operator knows where you are. If you have your GPS on, your operator, Samsung and Google know where you are.....
I know also about your searches, but you can use different search engines and, once again, informations they have about you are far less than if you had all antiprivacy tools on.

I know it's almost impossible to completely hide, but at least I try not to give them alla my personal data on purpose.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:18 pm

Disable WiFi and Bluetooth.

Those are the easiest ways for some stranger to hack your cell phone and collect all the information on it without you ever knowing.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
Stealthz
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RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:32 pm

Quoting f.pier (Reply 4):
It's true but only your network operator knows where you are.

And every agency they are providing information to!

Really you can be terminally paranoid or you can take reasonable precautions.. and I believe yours go beyond that.. and just get on with life.

In reality is disabling the GPS actually effective, especially in the USA ?
Isn't there a requirement that a phone broadcasts it's GPS location.
Disabling GPS from my understanding will only prevent the phone from telling YOU where you are not the "system"

[Edited 2013-12-17 07:36:46]
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!....well that might have changed!!!
 
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GrahamHill
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RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:04 pm

Quoting f.pier (Thread starter):
Any suggestions about how to improve privacy?

Reading your post, I can only suggest this to you:



When one puts tape on his camera lense, there's obviously a problem of paranoia.

But to answer your question, I don't have tips to improve privacy. The only thing I have is anti-virus that tells me each time someone tries to connect to my phone. That's all.
"A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one" - Moliere
 
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OA260
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RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:09 pm

Quoting GrahamHill (Reply 7):
Reading your post, I can only suggest this to you:

   

Either that or a good psychiatrist .
 
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LAXintl
Posts: 25406
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RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:15 pm

If you really want to be so anonymous why do you even have a mobile phone  


Really no point in turning GPS off, as your location is pretty much known already based on the cell towers your phone connects to as you move around. While it wont be down the the meter it will certainly be within a couple block radius.
Additionally most modern phones will also provide geolocation information when connected to wifi.


At the end, in my opinion all the hoops you are trying to jump through are not fully effective anyhow, while you rob yourself of all the benefits these technologies and all the apps provide us in helping live life.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
nickh
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RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:20 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
Really no point in turning GPS off, as your location is pretty much known already based on the cell towers your phone connects to as you move around. While it wont be down the the meter it will certainly be within a couple block radius.
Additionally most modern phones will also provide geolocation information when connected to wifi.

In a past job, I was one of the lead network architects, working for a local cellular company here in Houston, TX. I worked on both the RF and the Cellular Data side of the networks, as well as Cellular Fraud Management and some other things.

The above post about location by cell phone tower triangulation is quite true - whether you have a smart phone or a 'dumb phone'. You can triangulate someone to about a 1 city block area or less, sometimes, depending on tower overlap and other factors.

Due to the volume of data and calls being made on a daily/hourly/etc. basis, unless someone really has it in for you, or has some real reason to come after you, you need not worry. They have better things to do.

About the worst thing that we did (HAD to do, to check certain cell tower/repeater performance and other parameters) is to randomly pick a connection and we could hear the call in real-time for a short time, while conducting our diagnosis. But this was not for fun or to spy on people, we had to maintain our equipment. The only way that we were able to listen to real-time calls is because we had physical access to the switching stations and the main relay equipment. The Switching Office had multiple levels of security just to get into the main lobby, including Biometric (fingerprint and then later, hand scan), 6-digit number-scrambling digital keypad and cameras - the building was manned 24/7 and unless you were recognized by someone there, you were not getting in.

You cannot sit at a regular cell tower and "tap" into the line and start recording away.

Lastly, if the original poster is so worried about his personal security and staying anonymous, perhaps he should start by editing his A.net profile... just one look tells us your full name, where you are from, what you do, your age, etc. It wouldn't be hard to find you based on just that much information alone...
[smile].

-Nick
"We all have wings, but some of us don't know why..."
 
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OA260
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Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:27 pm

Quoting nickh (Reply 10):
The above post about location by cell phone tower triangulation is quite true - whether you have a smart phone or a 'dumb phone'. You can triangulate someone to about a 1 city block area or less, sometimes, depending on tower overlap and other factors.

Having worked for a major mobile network I can confirm this. The only people that were allowed to obtain the information were Police/Govt etc... It has been used in cases of crime/missing persons etc.. Your basic EUR30-40 Nokia can be tracked right upto your iPhone.
 
srbmod
Posts: 15446
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:46 pm

Quoting GrahamHill (Reply 7):

Or one of these:



What's the point of having a smartphone or tablet if you're pretty much not using what makes it a smartphone? Might as well get a bare bones basic cell phone....
 
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casinterest
Posts: 13538
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RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:51 pm

Quoting f.pier (Thread starter):

Any suggestions about how to improve privacy?

Put the phone in a steel box surrounded by lead weights and take a cruise and drop it in the middle of the Mediterranean
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did..So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.--Mark Twain
 
RussianJet
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RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:53 pm

Basically, you're clearly too paranoid to merit paying for a smartphone you're not prepared to use. I'm not trying to be unkind in saying that, but I really can't understand why you'd have such a capable device and opt not to use most of it's features.
✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
 
joffie
Posts: 845
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 5:45 pm

RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:53 pm

Yet you post your "real name" on a.net?

Seriously, sounds like the OP is hiding from someone.
 
David L
Posts: 8551
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:58 am

Quoting stealthz (Reply 6):
Disabling GPS from my understanding will only prevent the phone from telling YOU where you are not the "system"

I don't think that can be right. Turning off GPS is supposed to reduce battery usage so I assume it turns off the receiver and/or the processes that calculate your position. Otherwise there wouldn't be much point in allowing it to be turned off. As others have said, triangulation via the phone network is another matter.

I don't take any special precautions other than having basic Norton security and keeping Bluetooth disabled unless I'm using it. When I do use Bluetooth, I make sure it's only visible to devices that are already paired (except when pairing with a new device, of course).
 
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Aesma
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RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:29 pm

At some point I wonder if such paranoia isn't counterproductive. Don't get me wrong I don't approve of the NSA (or others) spying on me. But since I can't really avoid it (although France hasn't as many street cameras as other countries) I'd rather let them see the mundane stuff and only take precautions when doing "other" things... Right now f.pier you could be confused with a spy or a t*rr*r*st !

Now I'm wondering what my new company is doing about it, they're a Global 500 group and compete with other similar ones for huge contracts, so having the NSA telling US competitors about their prices etc. would be a problem.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
rfields5421
Posts: 6374
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:46 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 17):
Don't get me wrong I don't approve of the NSA (or others) spying on me.

NSA or the French spy agency collecting similar data isn't the problem.

The problem is the way Walmart, Target or other large retailers collect data from your phone's location to determine your individual habits for their marketing purposes. The way Google, Bing, Mozilla and other companies collect data about your web browsing and web searches to determine your interests.

And sell that data to other retailers and research companies.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 17):
so having the NSA telling US competitors about their prices etc. would be a problem.

The NSA doesn't share information they collect with anyone - even other US intelligence agencies like the CIA and FBI. The lack of data sharing is a continual problem among US intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

Heck, the NSA generates enough paper each day to power the boilers which heat their building in the winter.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
mandala499
Posts: 6600
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 8:47 pm

RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:12 pm

Quoting f.pier (Thread starter):
Remember that at the moment many of us live in free countries, but one day things can change and a dictator can take the power. In that case I think it's much better not to give him many data about ourselves....

Well, have a deep look into who you vote next time then...   
No need for dictator... now the Guardia Finanza can basically track you here, since they're a law enforcement agency, they can ask the site owner to reveal your IP, and track you. I hope you're not hiding from them   

Quoting f.pier (Thread starter):
For email I don't use commercial accounts but my friends have an independent email service hosted on their own server.
I never use Samsung email program, but only K9.

Sorry but in this day in age, that is useless. VDPI can basically get through what you send and receive transparently, and if encrypted, it can be decrypted... it's only a matter of time. Your 3G provider can therefore log it and even decrypt it and keep the data in anticipation of a law enforcement inquiry or judicial request.

Now what's stopping your provider from doing the same thing as what Google is doing with determining your behaviour?

If you are that afraid, get offline... and that name of yours on a.net account be it real or faked, change/delete it again... if that's a fake name, still, a profile can be made based on your fake name, and your writing behaviour and content.

Use a dumb phone? they can track you... if they can track you, then can have an idea of your habits and behaviour.
Only use voicecall? they can tap you...
Get in view of a CCTV camera, they can track you, identify you, etc...

You really want your privacy? You might aswell live in cave or some remote part where no electromagnetic waves can't get to you and determine coherent information.
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
f.pier
Topic Author
Posts: 1407
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2000 2:50 am

RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:13 pm

I think you're right: if you want to preserve your privacy you must give up your smartphone, so yesterday I gave my S3 to a friend of mine and I resumed my old 2009 Nokia 3120 classic.
I'm one of the few to change a microsim to a standard sim.
I'll be able to charge che battery once a week but I couldn't live thinking to organizations spying me.
I can switch on my old phone when I need to make a call and switch it off when I don't need to call.
I only needed an help to decide.

Thank you!!!
 
Virginblue4
Posts: 614
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RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:52 pm

Quoting f.pier (Reply 20):

Wow, you've got to be kidding?
712 738 744 752 762 763 764 223 319 320 321 332 359 DH4 E75 F70
BA BE BT BY DL IB MT PC U2 V7 VS WA ZB 6Y
 
flyingthe757
Posts: 255
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RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:11 pm

Quoting f.pier (Reply 20):

What are you worried about? I would think a person would only go,to this much trouble if they had something to hide. I use google, wifi, Facebook, I have some personal information out in the web, but I'm not doing anything to hide from so don't mind what they see.
 
f.pier
Topic Author
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RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:42 pm

I disagree with you. Privacy is something more than hiding if I have something to hide.
Is the right to live without being spied, scanned, analyzed and used by big firms for commercial use or by governments for political reasons.
It means that I decide to give them on purpose a lot of personal datra, and then they will know everything about me, files which describe my personality, my habits, what I do, where I go, who I meet, who are my friends, what do we talk about, what I like, what I dislike, my biological data.
And I repeat: what if one day these files will be used against me for political reasons?
Why should I give them all these data? Because my smartphone can suggest me where is the closest restaurant I like?
No thanks, if you like this exchange please go on, but I'm out, definitely.
 
flyingthe757
Posts: 255
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:44 pm

RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:53 pm

Quoting f.pier (Reply 23):

I fully expect my government to use the fact I look at cat videos on YouTube, look at the odd good looking hunk on google, browse plane pics and this forum, do my online shopping, check in at the cinema with my mates, and post hoe much I loved Corrie against me!!

Enjoy being off the grid.
 
joffie
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Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 5:45 pm

RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:55 am

Well I guess you won't be posting on A.net again?

If this is real.. wow, I suggest you get professional help.

If not, great troll post.
 
bill142
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RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:02 am

 
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Aesma
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RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:04 pm

I know plenty of old school people who don't own a mobile at all, don't use internet/don't have a computer, some don't even have a TV ! In fact when I was a kid (in the 80s, not that long ago) my parents old TV that someone had given them broke down and we didn't have a TV for several years as a result, I didn't think anything of it, and probably read more books in my childhood that I'll ever read for the rest of my life.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
f.pier
Topic Author
Posts: 1407
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2000 2:50 am

RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:05 pm

Quoting joffie (Reply 25):
Well I guess you won't be posting on A.net again?

Why?

My problem were smartphones, because they have a lot of privacy killing sensors and softwares specifically designed to spy our life.

I know that I don't live in 70s world, I tolerate a certain amount of intrusion so I can use my Linux PC.
 
mandala499
Posts: 6600
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 8:47 pm

RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:17 pm

Quoting f.pier (Reply 23):
Is the right to live without being spied, scanned, analyzed and used by big firms for commercial use or by governments for political reasons.

Nothing new... they've been doing it since before the age of the smartphones.

I hope you hide your IP address whenever you log on anywhere then   
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
flyingthe757
Posts: 255
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:44 pm

RE: Smartphones: How Do You Protect Your Privacy?

Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:10 pm

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 29):

Or at least channel the IP address through a number of servers across the world so your government , when trying to add to your daily file is tracking your location.

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